New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate is confident he will be successful in appealing a suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances, blaming a failed test on a treatment prescribed to him by a fertility specialist.
ESPN first reported Tate was facing a four-game ban, but the 30-year-old released a statement via Twitter on Saturday in which he explained he had alerted the NFL and his franchise to his inadvertent use of a banned substance.
"This past April, during the off-season, my wife and I decided to see a specialist for fertility planning," wrote Tate.
"I started the treatment prescribed to me and just days later I discovered it contained an ingredient that is on the league's banned substance list. I immediately discontinued use, I reported the situation to the Independent Administrator of the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances, and I spoke with my coaches and general manager. I did all of this well before a failed test was even confirmed.
"Per NFL protocol, an initial suspension was imminent, but myself and the Giants organisation are confident in the facts, and eagerly await my appeal to put this behind us."
Tate's statement continued: "During the entirety of my 10-year career I have taken great pride in playing this game the right way, have been an ambassador for the NFL and have never had any issues with the league's policy. The treatment this past April had no effect on the upcoming season, and I did not, and could not have undergone this treatment in April for any competitive advantage.
"I deeply appreciate the support from the New York Giants organisation, and will continue to hold the highest level of character and integrity, while being a leader in the locker room.
"In respect to the team and my team-mates I won't be speaking on this again until after the appeal. I'm focusing on football, and will not let this be a distraction."
My statement. pic.twitter.com/WzP7W4bclB— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) July 27, 2019
If Tate does end up missing the first four games of the season, it will be a big loss for the Giants, who are already struggling with depth at the wide receiver position without Odell Beckham Jr.
Since the Giants' training camp opened earlier this week, top wideout Sterling Shepard broke his thumb, while Corey Coleman suffered a season-ending ACL injury. Rookie Darius Slayton is also dealing with a hamstring injury
According to ESPN, Tate's appeal is set to be heard in the first week of August, with a resolution expected before the start of the season.Published 27 Jul 2019, 22:48 IST