One of the tenets of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy is that players are responsible for everything that goes into their body and, as a result, that it does not matter if banned substances are ingested intentionally or not when determining punishment.
The NFLPA reminded players of that fact in a letter warning players who might be spending time in China or Mexico about meat in those countries. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith each shared the letter on social media Tuesday with Peterson noting that players might have to go vegan on vacation.
“There is some evidence that some meat produced in China and Mexico may be contaminated with clenbuterol, an anabolic agent which is banned by the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances,” the letter reads. “Consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries may result in a positive test for clenbuterol in violation of the Policy.”
“Players are warned to be aware of this issue when traveling to Mexico and China. Please take caution if you decide to consume meat, and understand that you do so at your own risk.”
There’s no mention of foods that are imported into the United States from either country, but it might not be a bad idea for players to make sure where those are coming from as well given the consequences for a positive test.