NFL suspends former Gamecock

INDIANAPOLIS (WACH/AP) -- Indianapolis Colts tight end and former Gamecock Weslye Saunders has been suspended eight games without pay after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

League officials did not say Thursday what substance was found in Saunders' test. He can practice with the team during training camp and can play in preseason games. He won't be eligible again until Nov. 4.

It is the third time in less than a month that a Colts player has run into off-the-field trouble.

In June, the league announced receiver LaVon Brazill was suspended four games for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. And earlier this month, backup safety Joe Lefeged was arrested in Washington on a gun possession charge. He has not been disciplined by the league.

Saunders had two receptions for 15 yards last season in Indy.

Saunders also ran into trouble at the University of South Carolina. He had 60 catches and six touchdowns during his collegiate career with the Gamecocks, but despite his potential, the football program cut ties with Saunders in September 2010 before he ever played a game of his senior season.

The NCAA had looked into Saunders' about the possibility of improper contact wih agents and he was also embroiled in Columbia's Whitney Hotel scandal. Ten South Carolina players came under scrutiny after being accused of receiving improper benefits by staying at the hotel either free of charge or at reduced rates due to their status.

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Saunders as an undrafted free agent in 2011.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)