Golden Tate On Suspension: 'I'm Not Trying To Cheat'

Giants WR Speaks On Four-Game Suspension

Alec Gearty
August 14, 2019 - 2:19 pm
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Golden Tate hoped the NFL would understand when his failed drug test revealed Clomiphene, a fertility drug but one of the league's banned substances. He also recognizes that the league's strict no-tolerance policy will force him to wait a few more weeks before making his Giants debut. 

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"I’m just ready to move forward. I just want to play football," Tate told reporters Wednesday. "Look at me, I’m not trying to cheat. I think I have represented the NFL shield pretty well in my career. I have achieved a lot of things, and I hope this doesn’t smear that reputation that I have worked very hard for."

The NFL issued Tate a four-game suspension on July 27 for "violating the NFL policy on performance-enchancing substances." Tate appealed the decision, but the suspension ultimately withstood. He reiterated that he kept Giants coaches and personnel aware and even went as far as to self-report his situation, according to a statement released after the initial suspension.

"A few weeks after my test, I went back and spoke to the doctor," Tate said. "Initially the doctor said it was not a banned substance. In fact, he'd given it to other NFL players, which is why I kind of trusted it and kept living my life.

"I was out to dinner one night with a guy who worked for me. We started talking about another player who was suspended for something completely different. A light went off in my head, 'Let me call the doctor and make sure just to make myself feel better.' I asked him what the active ingredient was. We looked it up right then and there and, sure enough, it was a banned substance."

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Tate will lose out on $1,229,412 throughout his suspension, according to CBS Sports' Joel Corry. The guaranteed payout in next season's contract is also void due to the four-game punishment. 

New York head coach Pat Shurmur says Tate will continue to occasionally work with the team's starters. Tate's suspension isn't an ideal scenario for the Giants' wideout corps. Sterling Shepard broke his thumb earlier in training camp and Corey Coleman (torn ACL) and Amba Etta-Tawo (torn Achilles) were placed on the Injured Reserve. 

"It is what it is," Shurmur said. "This isn’t the first time a player has been suspended. He went through the process to try to appeal it and all. We just won’t have him for four weeks, so you move on. You make adjustments, and then wait for him to get back in Week Five."

The Giants return to the field for their second preseason game on Aug. 16 against the Bears.