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Antonio Gates suspended four games for PED violation

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Fireworks haven’t been going off at NFL headquarters just before July 4, but announcements of suspensions keep on coming Thursday.

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates is the latest to fall under discipline from the league office. The NFL announced that Gates has been suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

“In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails,” Gates said in a statement. “I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them. As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me.”

Gates will miss games against the Lions, Bengals, Vikings and Browns before becoming eligible to return in Week Five against the Steelers. He’ll be able to take part in training camp practices and preseason games before the suspension goes into effect.

Gates had 69 catches for 821 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Chargers last season and that production at 34 may raise some eyebrows in light of Thursday’s suspension. Lardarius Green will be the likely replacement for Gates in San Diego’s first four games.

Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, Cowboys linebacker Rolando McClain and Packers defensive end Datone Jones have also had suspensions announced by the league on Thursday.

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107 Responses to “Antonio Gates suspended four games for PED violation”
  1. stillers213 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:11 PM

    It’s definitely National Suspension Day.

  2. canetic says: Jul 2, 2015 4:12 PM

    An older veteran on the downslope of his career tested positive for PED’s? What a terrible “accident”.

  3. eazeback says: Jul 2, 2015 4:12 PM

    WOW!!!!!

  4. chargerdillon says: Jul 2, 2015 4:12 PM

    For a player who had 1 good game all season what a waste of drugs

  5. grimreaper12 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:12 PM

    gates will forever be known as a cheater now…imagine if tom brady was busted for ped’s. the world would end. 24-7 coverage on the nfl network.

  6. joetoronto says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    First he says he’s going to coast this year and now he’s suspended for PED’s.

    Choo choo!

  7. trevor190 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    The next person to use the word “integrity” in relation to the NFL should get a 4 game ban.

  8. paulrevereshorse1775 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    this is starting to look like every team is going to have a suspended player

  9. grimreaper12 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    but gates didn’t know.
    ted wells should investigate this.

  10. thepftpoet says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    Top 5 TE’s in the NFL :

    1. Kyle Rudolph
    2. Rob Gronkowski
    3. Jimmy Graham
    4. Greg Olsen
    5. Martellus Bennett

  11. sdnative1904 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:14 PM

    LET FOOTBALL PLAYERS SHOOT HGH.

  12. bucrightoff says: Jul 2, 2015 4:14 PM

    Once they start testing for HGH at least 50% of the league will be getting suspended

  13. Heretopissuoff says: Jul 2, 2015 4:15 PM

    Chargers are a misrebale franchise anyways.
    Clive Warford>Gates

  14. National Fanatic says: Jul 2, 2015 4:15 PM

    LaDarius Green Time!

  15. stillers213 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:16 PM

    Should have just punched someone to feel better instead. The suspension would have only been half of what you received.

  16. marcosnutsareaverage says: Jul 2, 2015 4:17 PM

    classy player and person. too bad

  17. dsigrey says: Jul 2, 2015 4:17 PM

    The integrity league! If it had real integrity it would announce these on a Monday morning.

  18. realfootballfan says: Jul 2, 2015 4:18 PM

    I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked. Next thing you’re going to tell me is that it was a weight supplement that his trainer didn’t know was on the banned list.

  19. davetrembley says: Jul 2, 2015 4:18 PM

    I don’t believe that many Charger fans saw this coming.

  20. fumblenuts says: Jul 2, 2015 4:20 PM

    People are ALWAYS talking about Seahawk players and PED’s……….indeed.

  21. folkcrusader says: Jul 2, 2015 4:21 PM

    He looked like Superman playing against the Seahawks. I guess he was.

  22. bastageman says: Jul 2, 2015 4:22 PM

    The league managed to not leak any of these suspensions all the way ’til it was time to lock the doors and start the long holiday weekend, that’s gotta be some kind of record for them.

  23. norwegianwud says: Jul 2, 2015 4:22 PM

    Man, that’s a bummer! I’m not even a Chargers fan. There’s gonna be more suspensions by the sounds of it. They have not suspended Guion from GB for his Florida holiday? Can we suspend Roger Goodell for “suspicion of ignorance”?

  24. routerunner says: Jul 2, 2015 4:22 PM

    He probably just drank from one of Merriman’s old water bottles.

  25. classyjacklambert says: Jul 2, 2015 4:27 PM

    You can tell he doesn’t play for the pats… Because he held himself accountable.

  26. pacificdan says: Jul 2, 2015 4:27 PM

    Perhaps all of us should use care casting stones. The way today is going all 32 teams will get bad news today.

  27. datageek94 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:28 PM

    Just once I’d like to see an NFL player take responsibility. Just once.

  28. jonbeck316 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:28 PM

    Drew Brees doesn’t demand an explanation – because he is on the Saints now

  29. hooded12 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:28 PM

    thepftpoet says: Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    Top 5 TE’s in the NFL :

    1. Kyle Rudolph
    2. Rob Gronkowski
    3. Jimmy Graham
    4. Greg Olsen
    5. Martellus Bennett
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You have that wrong I think. Only place Rudolph belongs is at the top of the following list:

    Top 5 Santa’s Reindeer:
    1) Rudolph
    2) Donner
    3) Blitzen
    4) Dasher
    5) Dancer

    Top 5 TE’s is too much I think…..

  30. seatownballers says: Jul 2, 2015 4:28 PM

    Every seahawks fan exhaled in relief

  31. bullcharger says: Jul 2, 2015 4:30 PM

    Why don’t teams get charged when a player gets a PED suspension? Does anyone in their right mind think the trainers don’t know when a guy is on PEDs, especially steroids?

  32. commenter says: Jul 2, 2015 4:32 PM

    Making it more difficult to get into the Hall.

  33. bolthawk39 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:34 PM

    Love Gates but he might not get his job back if Ladarius Green pans out as hoped (sigh). They were going to cut his snaps a bit anyway. Regardless, Gates will have 4 less games to worry about staying healthy this year and will still play a big part in getting the Chargers to the playoffs.

  34. bullcharger says: Jul 2, 2015 4:35 PM

    classyjacklambert says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:27 PM

    You can tell he doesn’t play for the pats… Because he held himself accountable.

    ————–

    Yeah right… I’m sure he unknowingly took an illegal substance. It’s standard operating procedure to say that, but it’s unlikely.

  35. FinFan68 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:36 PM

    There is no acceptable excuse. The guys that test positive took whatever it was intentionally regardless of whatever accident excuse their PR team comes up with. It is quite simple. Take approved stuff or nothing at all. If there is any doubt because it is new or unorthodox then send a sample for testing before you take it. Failure to do so, to me, means they are intentionally juicing and either show positive for the improper drug or a masking agent. Keep your apologies to yourself players. The only ones who buy it are the hero worshipping homers looking for something/someone else to blame. That also goes for the guys on my beloved Dolphins that choose to cheat like this as well. No sympathy here. If the season is to gruelling that you have to cheat to get by then it is obviously time to hang ’em up and move on to another line of work.

  36. daysend564 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:38 PM

    It takes four failed tests to get suspended. Obviously his statements aren’t necessarily full of truth.

  37. dudermcrbohan says: Jul 2, 2015 4:39 PM

    Gronk’s 2011 season was better than Rudolph’s entire career

  38. mrgroovesd says: Jul 2, 2015 4:39 PM

    That’s a shame! Ladarius Green, time to step up!

  39. merky19 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:41 PM

    Norwegianwud says “Can we suspend Roger Goodell for “suspicion of ignorance”?

    Suspicion??? How many smoking guns do you need.
    2 2

  40. richardshermanhaschickenlegs says: Jul 2, 2015 4:44 PM

    I thought that voice doing the advertisements for Andro 400 sounded familiar! Doh!

  41. silverandblack052099 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:45 PM

    So the Chargers have players who cheat and still can’t win a championship.

  42. malab377 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:47 PM

    Chargers *… oh… wait…

  43. bullcharger says: Jul 2, 2015 4:52 PM

    What percentage of NFL players have never tried any type of PED in their life? It would be impossible to find out but interesting to know. It’s probably a growing number given the awareness in the last 20 years. Before that, it was probably approaching zero.

  44. drewzducks says: Jul 2, 2015 4:52 PM

    I wasn’t aware that the NFLPA sponsored a Hemp festival.

  45. dickshotdogs says: Jul 2, 2015 4:53 PM

    Yeah, he wrote that. SMH

  46. raiderinva says: Jul 2, 2015 4:53 PM

    paulrevereshorse1775 says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM

    this is starting to look like every team is going to have a suspended player

    ——————————-

    Except for the Raiders.

    If they have been cheating, they have been doing it wrong.

  47. alltee says: Jul 2, 2015 4:53 PM

    nothing to see here people lets focus on the patriots and a science report that when read properly shows no tampering at all and a report that clearly states on page 28 that
    “no evidence can be determined without making several assumptions”

    those are the cheaters!! not the players who are taking drugs to enhance their performance, ruin the integrity of the league and steal jobs from potential players that are trying to make it in the NFL legally

  48. Wild Omar says: Jul 2, 2015 4:54 PM

    Bummer. Looks like it’s going to be another (yawn) great year for the Chargers.

  49. mullman76 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:55 PM

    Funny that humbolt clams up on this one…

  50. guadalahonky says: Jul 2, 2015 4:55 PM

    Heretopissuoff says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:15 PM

    Chargers are a misrebale franchise anyways.

    ——————————————————

    Perhaps. But at least Charger fans can spell.

  51. slvrnblk72 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:56 PM

    HUMBOLT!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!

  52. kev86 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:57 PM

    And Brady won’t accept his suspension. What a baby.

  53. lunar2013 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:58 PM

    Um. You don’t get 4 games for a first time offense. Just sayin’

  54. 34defense2014 says: Jul 2, 2015 4:58 PM

    @classyjacklambert; Well said, notice all the players that hold themselves accountable, do not play for the Pat’s.

  55. bullcharger says: Jul 2, 2015 5:00 PM

    daysend564 says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:38 PM

    It takes four failed tests to get suspended. Obviously his statements aren’t necessarily full of truth.

    ————–

    As far as I have read it only takes one failed PED test to get suspended 4 games. I could be wrong.

  56. golfore says: Jul 2, 2015 5:04 PM

    Not surprised. Time to put him out to pasture anyway. Sucks to be a Charger fan. Maybe they can win something more than a playoff game when they get on the trolley and move to L.A.

  57. bullcharger says: Jul 2, 2015 5:05 PM

    dudermcrbohan says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:39 PM

    Gronk’s 2011 season was better than Rudolph’s entire career

    ————–

    Just looked… that is completely true!

  58. raiderapologist says: Jul 2, 2015 5:08 PM

    mullman76 says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:55 PM

    Funny that humbolt clams up on this one…
    ——————
    He generally ignores anything written about the Chargers. He is all about the Silver and Black.

  59. thebifforacle says: Jul 2, 2015 5:12 PM

    datageek94 says:

    Just once I’d like to see an NFL player take responsibility. Just once.

    —————————————————-

    He did. Or can’t you read.

    “I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues, and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

  60. schmitty2 says: Jul 2, 2015 5:14 PM

    I guess we now understand what Gates meant when a few months back he said he asked to play fewer snaps.

  61. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 2, 2015 5:15 PM

    “Top 5 Santa’s Reindeer:
    1) Rudolph
    2) Donner
    3) Blitzen
    4) Dasher
    5) Dancer”

    LOLERCOASTER comment of the week !

  62. 8oneanddones says: Jul 2, 2015 5:21 PM

    That explains his resurgence after looking done two or three years ago.

  63. ebdug says: Jul 2, 2015 5:21 PM

    If the commissioner knew what he was doing there would be no penalty for recreational drug use and players would be flat kicked out of the league for using PEDs.

  64. refswin says: Jul 2, 2015 5:23 PM

    Just as bad as maybe being generally aware of something that may or may not have gone on.

  65. 1018cjm says: Jul 2, 2015 5:25 PM

    He should have used Richard Sherman’s “pinhole in the specimen cup” trick to get the sample thrown out…

  66. chinahand11 says: Jul 2, 2015 5:47 PM

    As an aside to all of this, I was cruising through San Diego and listening to the local sports talk, such as it is. One of the guys said, “He was using performance enhancing PED drugs!” Real smooth. Just in case someone didn’t get it I guess.

  67. adultsportfan says: Jul 2, 2015 5:50 PM

    thepftpoet says:
    Jul 2, 2015 4:13 PM
    Top 5 TE’s in the NFL :

    1. Kyle Rudolph…

    ==============

    I had to stop reading there and go to Google to find out which team Rudolph plays for.

  68. godenbroncos says: Jul 2, 2015 5:50 PM

    As a Bronco fan, I am going to say, as much as I hate AG on the field, he has always been a tremendous competitor. I buy his explanation, and will refrain from taking shots at him about it. He has always shown integrity.

    Except this one…I knew he was cheating 😉

  69. bobman2 says: Jul 2, 2015 5:53 PM

    Maybe he and Brady can go on a month-long golf trip next September; work on their retired athlete swings. Rolando McClain can caddie for them.

  70. dkalev says: Jul 2, 2015 5:53 PM

    Before players were being paid huge amounts f money to play, there were no issues with peds… Since the 50s, when the sport took the nation by storm? It’s been rampant…

  71. rolf1015 says: Jul 2, 2015 5:58 PM

    So….
    If Philip Rivers may have been “generally aware” that Gates was taking illegal substances, he (and any others) would also need to be suspended for 4 games under this new precedent that Goodell has established. Right?

  72. alltee says: Jul 2, 2015 6:13 PM

    Please stop insinuating that he took credit and owned up to his mistake.

    Knowing the NFL has no right to publish the information of what the failed test was for he made a statement saying he was wrong but implied that it was something that slipped through the gaps in his holistic and regular legal treatment.

    Name me the last NFL player busted for PEDs that said I was shooting roids or taking HGH?

    It isn’t a coincidence that based on public statements aderall is the number one infraction in the league lol

    So much for the statement he can’t play for the pats because he owned up to it, FYI you want Brady to own up to an investigation where the science proves that no balls were tampered with? Brady should do that after I own up to the Kennedy assassination which happened before I was born

  73. cross300 says: Jul 2, 2015 6:15 PM

    So….
    If Philip Rivers may have been “generally aware” that Gates was taking illegal substances, he (and any others) would also need to be suspended for 4 games under this new precedent that Goodell has established. Right?
    _______________________________________________
    Goodell should demand to see Rivers cell phone now to see if he texted him. Any refusal is enough to suspend him.

  74. kentay305 says: Jul 2, 2015 6:34 PM

    Why dont the NFL and the Union have a testing facility and approve the supplements the athletes can use. Stop going outside and risking suspensions like this… They guy is a great player long before this…

    you guys act like he shot a guy and got committed with….. oh that already happened?! My bad… GO PATS! LOL

  75. thebifforacle says: Jul 2, 2015 7:02 PM

    godenbroncos says:

    As a Bronco fan, I am going to say, as much as I hate AG on the field, he has always been a tremendous competitor. I buy his explanation, and will refrain from taking shots at him about it. He has always shown integrity.

    Except this one…I knew he was cheating

    ————————————————————

    You must know the same about Von Miller then.

  76. firerogergoodellnow says: Jul 2, 2015 7:10 PM

    Baseball players aren’t allowed to play in the playoffs if they get suspended for PEDs, even if they come back before the playoffs. The NFL should have a similar rule.

  77. patsfan112 says: Jul 2, 2015 7:20 PM

    At this point the NFL should just cancel the month of September and start their season in October. So many players won’t be playing in the first month of the season.

  78. officialgame says: Jul 2, 2015 8:04 PM

    Its all starting to fall apart for the Hawks.

  79. powderkeg100 says: Jul 2, 2015 8:27 PM

    If he was a Patriot or a Packer he would have been suspended 2 preseason games.

  80. dbled33 says: Jul 2, 2015 9:10 PM

    Inflate Gates!

  81. dirksdirtydiggler says: Jul 2, 2015 9:19 PM

    Yesss… Free Ladarius Green!

  82. jerlee7 says: Jul 2, 2015 9:35 PM

    Classy by Gates

  83. fearthehoody says: Jul 2, 2015 10:09 PM

    San Diego Chargers**

    * Altering Footballs in 2011
    * Gates cheating

  84. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jul 2, 2015 10:35 PM

    Attention Patriot fans: you do not get to use such one-off player suspensions as your typical “proof that everybody cheats so it’s OK if we do, too.”

    You do not get to make up bogus web sites pretending NOT be the work of Patriot fans, making up accounts of cheating by other teams that never happened.

    You do not get to besmirch the good name of such legitimate dynasties as the 49ers, Steelers and Packers in the name of trying to drag everybody else down into the mud.

    You do not get to claim pre-1989 steroid use was “cheating” nor do you get to claim stickum use was — when YOUR team engaged in both, like everybody else.

    That is all. For now.

  85. nyneal says: Jul 2, 2015 11:00 PM

    powderkeg100 says:
    Jul 2, 2015 8:27 PM
    If he was a Patriot or a Packer he would have been suspended 2 preseason games.

    ___________________________________

    Take some powder out of your powderkeg and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  86. revren10 says: Jul 2, 2015 11:02 PM

    Seahawks are on line 1 looking to trade for him

  87. kingpel says: Jul 2, 2015 11:35 PM

    Everyone is doing it. I’m convinced.

  88. fearthehoody says: Jul 3, 2015 12:30 AM

    GatesGate

  89. jmethane says: Jul 3, 2015 1:29 AM

    Well now we know why he was so amazing against the Seahawks last season…

  90. whereyaat says: Jul 3, 2015 3:22 AM

    Certainly explains how Gates has been able to defy Father Time. I have been wondering about that for 3-4 years now..

  91. joegill576 says: Jul 3, 2015 4:23 AM

    Google Sid Gillman steroid program. PED use is nothing new in SoCal. Stay classy San Diego.

  92. noteamforlosangeles says: Jul 3, 2015 5:49 AM

    Looking at the four opponents for those four games, Chargers should go 3-1 at worst anyway.

    Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgwater, Andy Dalton and Matthew Stafford doesn’t exactly make me think of a “murderers’ row”

  93. phillypcp says: Jul 3, 2015 7:55 AM

    who cares, the nfl is the biggest scam and it all starts at the top. none of this should even matter

  94. RegisHawk says: Jul 3, 2015 8:38 AM

    Mathis all over again.

  95. 46namredyps11 says: Jul 3, 2015 8:47 AM

    Wow. ampatsisahypocrite is more obsessed with the Patriots than Patriot fans are, that’s sad.

  96. STILLlolatpatshaters says: Jul 3, 2015 9:24 AM

    Rob Gronkowski is on record saying he’s looked up to Gates since high school Gates has also given major props to Gronk.

    Therefore…it’s more probable than not that Gronk is also guilty of taking illegal PEDs.

    /WellsLogic

  97. STILLlolatpatshaters says: Jul 3, 2015 9:26 AM

    You do not get to claim pre-1989 steroid use was “cheating”


    Except it most certainly was. 🙂

    6 tainted titles. Don’t you even THINK of forgetting it.

    🙂

  98. winninaintsinnin says: Jul 3, 2015 9:52 AM

    You can tell he doesn’t play for the pats… Because he held himself accountable.

    ============

    TRUTH

    Or the Steelers – well at least since their team Dr Rydze was busted for roid distribution about the same time they quit winning.

  99. winninaintsinnin says: Jul 3, 2015 9:57 AM

    On a side note, Pats’ fans pointing fingers at other franchises for cheating is like Madoff complaining that others’ investment fees are too high.

  100. aljack88 says: Jul 3, 2015 10:18 AM

    ampatsisahypocrite – who made you emperor ?

  101. STILLlolatpatshaters says: Jul 3, 2015 11:25 AM

    #Gatesgate

  102. inbillwetrust says: Jul 3, 2015 1:09 PM

    cheaters

  103. bones420247365 says: Jul 3, 2015 1:30 PM

    It’s the perfect strategy for an aging veteran with no previous suspensions. He’s always banged up late in the season, maybe now he can help the Chargers when it’s gets into crunch time. I’m hoping Ladarius Green can do what he’s always been expected to do.

  104. yerhatinforhatinsake says: Jul 3, 2015 6:27 PM

    *Editor’s note.. not Charger Page… Charger article.

  105. fanofpft says: Jul 3, 2015 6:46 PM

    Didn’t the same thing happen not that long ago?

  106. yerhatinforhatinsake says: Jul 3, 2015 8:22 PM

    Pats fans calling the Chargers cheaters, and kicking Charger fans when they are down… classy. Especially when it’s over something as common as their TE getting suspended for 4 games for PED’s. I’m not defending Gates, or minimizing his actions. But, didn’t your TE run into some problems a while back? Something much worse, if I remember rightly. I can’t believe you would have the audacity to start chiming in on this subject.

    Seems to me that you are comparing apples to oranges. These were the actions of one man, not a team. The Patriots get their whole staff, the ball boy, and their star QB involved when they cheat.

  107. limakey says: Jul 7, 2015 7:34 PM

    You can’t compare Brady and Gates. One manned up and took responsibility and one did not.

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