Antonio Gates Suspended: San Diego Chargers Tight End Used PEDs

Antonio Gates has been suspended for four games by the NFL for PED use. Gates, a tight end for the San Diego Chargers, is yet another player that has violated the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The suspensions seem to keep rolling out from the league office this offseason. A report from CBS Sports on Thursday (July 2) reveals that both Gates and the Chargers have released statements about the suspension. The Pro Bowl tight end took a familiar route when it comes to professional athletes busted for using PEDs.

“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. I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and never taken any substance that was illegal or banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from a long season and although I was unaware at the time, I regret to confirm that I tested positive for a substance that is currently on the NFL banned substance list.”

In the statement from the team posted on Chargers.com, it didn’t seem like the front office was pleased at all with the news. As the team struggles to not only find an identity but possibly a new place to play in the near future, this was probably the last thing the front office wanted to deal with in the NFL offseason.

“We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself. Antonio is a member of the Chargers’ family and we will continue to support him 100-percent. We have the utmost confidence he will stay in excellent shape for the season and be ready to go when he returns in Week 5. While it’s unfortunate to not have him to start the season, we have complete confidence our tight end group will continue to play at a high level.”

With Antonio Gates suspended for four games to open the 2015 NFL season, it means he will miss games against the Detroit Lions (home), Cincinnati Bengals (road), Minnesota Vikings (road), and Cleveland Browns (home). He should be able to return for a Week 5 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 12. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, this isn’t the first big-name player suspended for a game against the Browns. New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson was also suspended for the first game his team plays against the Browns in 2015.

The NFL seems to really be cracking down on PED use as well as substance violations this offseason. It could be an effort to clean up the game, but it could also be a symptom of the situation getting out of control. Antonio Gates has a lot to do to regain his image in the league, and the San Diego Chargers will have to start the season without him now.

[Image Source: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]