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Giants’ Tate loses appeal; 4-game suspension sticks

The Associated Press

New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate makes a catch during practice in East Rutherford, N.J., in May.

The Associated Press EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate has had the appeal of his four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers turned down.

The decision by an independent arbiter was announced Tuesday and means the 10-year-veteran will miss the first four games of the regular season, starting with Dallas on Sept. 8.

Tate, who signed a $37.5 million contract as a free agent with the Giants in March, announced the suspension in a Twitter post on July 27. He said he intended to appeal it and felt his case had merit because he was using a fertility drug prescribed by a doctor.

The appeal was heard by a member of an independent appeals panel in New York last week.

The NFL allows players to use fertility drugs, but they must obtain a therapeutic use exemption prior to using them. The league has insisted players are responsible for the drugs and supplements they take and advises them to talk to team trainers and medical personnel before using them.

“This morning I received the unfortunate news that my appeal was denied,” Tate said in a statement on Twitter. “I went into this arbitration with the understanding that due to the facts, unlike many other cases, we could be the exception to win. Unfortunately the NFL stood by their no tolerance policy, which I hope one day to help have a part in reforming, so no other player has to go through this situation.”

Certain fertility drugs can help athletes boost performance or mask doping. Some fertility drugs bought online are not approved by the FDA.

Tate will be eligible to practice with the team until the start of the regular season.

The Giants, who traded standout receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland in the offseason, have been hit with a rash of injuries at the wideout spot in training camp.

Sterling Shepard broke his left thumb in the opening practice. He has returned to practice on a limited basis. Fellow receiver kickoff returner Corey Coleman tore an ACL in the same workout.

Luck to sit out preseason

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts believe lingering pain in Andrew Luck’s lower left leg will likely force their starting quarterback to miss the rest of the preseason.

They’re still unsure about his availability for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard said Tuesday additional testing revealed Luck appears to be suffering from an injury near the front of his ankle, something his previously diagnosed strained left calf might have exacerbated.

“Honestly, I think it’s a cumulative thing through the years. Andrew’s had some issues with his left [ankle] for a while, so I think it’s really a cumulative thing,” Ballard told local reporters on a conference call. “We think we’ve found it. You hope you’ve found what the cause is. Is there a 100 percent guarantee? No, but we think we have, so we’ll move forward and try to treat it.”

The injury kept Luck out of all of the team’s offseason workouts and all but three training camp practices. Speech

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