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Mark Ingram weighing options following suspension

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A day after the Mark Ingram was suspended four games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances, his representative, David Jones, released a statement stating that the New Orleans Saints running back will explore his options once the arbitrator's opinion on the appeal is released.

"At the end of the 2017 season, as a result of a NFL mandated random drug test, Mark Ingram tested positive for a substance that was not a performance enhancing substance, nor an illegal substance, but a substance in fact permissible with the proper use exemption with the NFL," Jones said in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. "He has vigorously challenged the test results through the arbitration process. The arbitrator's Opinion is due on or before Wednesday, May 16. Upon having the opportunity to review the arbitrator's opinion, we will explore what further options are needed."

The NFL confirmed Ingram lost his appeal, leading to the suspension.

Ingram is slated to miss tilts against the Buccaneers, Browns, Falcons, and Giants. He is allowed to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

Entering the final year of his contract, the 28-year-old hasn't been around the team facility during voluntary offseason conditioning and doesn't plan to attend voluntary OTAs, Rapoport reported Tuesday on NFL Network's Up To The Minute. Rapoport added that the Saints were aware of the possible suspension for "several weeks."

Ingram led the Saints in rushing last season with 1,124 yards on 230 carries with 12 TDs. Offensive Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara is poised to take on a larger role in the offense with Ingram set to miss four games.

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