It’s official. The New York Giants will be without the services of wide receiver Golden Tate for the first four games of the regular season. Tate’s appeal of his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances was denied Tuesday.
Tate will miss the Giants’ first four games of 2019 against the Dallas Cowboys (Week 1), Buffalo Bills (Week 2), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 3), and Washington Redskins (Week 4). He will be allowed to practice with the team and play in the Giants’ three remaining preseason games. After that, he will not be allowed in the team’s facility until Sept. 30, the day after their Week 4 game against Washington.
Tate said he and his wife are attempting to have another child and pointed a finger at a fertility doctor for misinformation. He said the doctor advised him the treatments contain no substances on the NFL’s banned list when, in fact, they contained clomiphene. Clomiphene, sold under the brand name Clomid, can increase testosterone levels in men.
“Initially, the doctor said it was not a banned substance and he had given it to other NFL players, that’s why I trusted it and kept living my life,” Tate said.
Players are allowed to use fertility drugs under the current collective bargaining agreement. However, they must obtain approval before taking them. Tate did not. After Wednesday’s practice, Tate addressed the media. He ultimately accepts the blame and punishment but feels as if he let his teammates and the Giants organization down.
“I have been thinking about this since April and May,” Tate said. “This has been on my mind. I have lost a lot of sleep. It’s kind of hurt me to my core having to explain to the organization what is going on. I’m just ready to move forward. I just want to play football. You look at me. I am not trying to cheat.”
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Tate was asked why he and his wife, Elise, would need to see a fertility specialist after having their second child this past February.
“That’s pretty personal. I don’t want to get into it,” Tate said.
He was also reminded of an incident while he was a member of the Seattle Seahawks. Two Seahawks players were suspended after positive tests for recreational drugs, causing Tate to call the players “selfish”.
“That’s a completely different situation than me taking a substance trying to have another kid,” Tate said.
Tate said he first became suspicious about his fertility treatment while discussing another player’s suspension over dinner. He also mentioned possible civil action against the doctor as a means of recouping the $1.2 million he will lose during his suspension.
“We are definitely looking into (taking action against the doctor), we are kind of examining all of our options,” Tate said. “This all came out a few days ago, so I’m still trying to get through camp, trying my best to focus and continue to be a leader for this organization, and practice hard.”
Tate did admit he was surprised by the NFL’s ruling but accepts his punishment nonetheless.
“It’s very frustrating, I have no problem with accepting the punishment,” Tate said. “I’m responsible for what’s put into my body, ultimately. The tough thing I am dealing with is I’m letting down a lot of people. My family, the guys in the locker room, the people in the organization that brought me here. That’s kind of what’s been crushing me with this whole situation.”
Tate signed a four-year, $37.5 million deal in March. He will be able to make his Giants debut against the Minnesota Vikings (Week 5, Oct. 6) at MetLife Stadium.