Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery is suspended for the next four games for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, which Jeffery says is a result of taking a supplement without realizing it had a banned ingredient. The Bears don’t seem to be very sympathetic to that excuse.
Coach John Fox said a player who’s been in the league as long as Jeffery has been in the NFL should know by now that it’s absolutely unacceptable to take a supplement without first checking to see whether it has any banned substances in it.
“Everybody in the building . . . educates these guys,” Fox said, via the Chicago Tribune. “So especially a veteran, they have heard it 400 times.”
Bears cornerback Tracy Porter said reading the labels is part of the job of being a professional football player.
“It’s just like an extra homework assignment,” Porter said. “You really have to pay attention to the ingredients because even one thing that’s put in there could give you that positive test.”
And tight end Logan Paulsen says he takes nothing without checking to see that the National Sanitation Foundation has certified it as not being contaminated with banned substances.
“You go to a gas station and you’re hungry,” Paulsen said. “There’s a protein bar there — not NSF certified. You have to be really careful.”
Jeffery failed to take the necessary steps, and it will cost him $3.43 million this year and potentially more in lost earnings next year if teams are hesitant to take a chance on giving him a big contract in free agency next year. Failing to read the labels was a costly mistake.