San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has been randomly tested for prohibited substances countless times over the course of his 12-year career.
Unfortunately for Gates, he tested positive in April for performance enhancing drugs—a violation of NFL policy. This resulted in the league handing Gates a four-game suspension in early July.
Speaking on the issue for the first time since his suspension, Gates claims he has no idea how the substance got into his body (via the team’s official website):
“I’m not really sure quite how it got in my system particularly, but it was in there. I’ve been doing the same things over and over in terms of after the season just taking care of my body. I’m very intuitive of what my body needs, and what I need to come out and perform every single year. Like I said, it is something where it showed up in a test. I’ve taken multiple tests since then and it didn’t show up. I’ve taken multiple tests before and it didn’t show up. So out of a hundred thousand tests I’ve taken in the NFL, one test proved to be positive. Who’s to say how it got into my system.”
No, this was not an April Fool’s joke as Gates referenced.
“I was thinking it was more of an April Fool’s joke,” he explained. “It is hard to explain because the reality is I’ve been playing sports since I was 10 years old. Guys that have been around me, they know that I’ve just always had the gift. So when I got the information (of the positive test) I was shocked.”
It is what it is and Gates will take full responsibility. While he is not happy about sitting out four games and receiving a docked paycheck, he claims he can’t keep crying over spilled milk.
Gates is also not paying any attention to the media rumblings surrounding his suspension, and says his primary focus is on his family, friends and teammates. For now, all Gates can do is keep in top form and enjoy the company of his team while practicing during the training camp.
How the prohibited substance entered Gates system appears to be a mystery, at least to him.
We will see Gates officially on the field in Week 5 when the Chargers host the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Monday night Football matchup.
Photo: USA Today Sports