Thanks to a positive PED test, Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery will be suspended for the next four games. Jeffery has issued a statement taking responsibility, saying that the test positive test came from a substance made to combat inflammation (read more here). If Jeffery is hoping for sympathy, he shouldn’t look towards his head coach John Fox.
“Everybody in the building … educates these guys,” Fox said, per Rich Campbell of The Chicago Tribune. “So especially a veteran, they have heard it 400 times.”
In all honestly, Fox is right. Across sports, when someone tests positive for a banned substance, that player will release a statement remarkably similar to Jeffery’s 99 percent of the time. It’s a way for a player to take some responsibility, while also letting everyone know that he/she isn’t really a cheater.
In some cases, it might even be true. We don’t know if Jeffery was truly trying to cheat, or if he was just taking a pill that he incorrectly thought was fine.
It also doesn’t matter.
Players have to know what they’re putting in their bodies. Jeffery is a five-year veteran. He’s not only heard the speech “400 times,” but has also seen countless other players suspended and offer similar statements.
This is really no different than if he was consciously trying to cheat. Jeffery will be suspended for the next four games and really, deserves no sympathy from anyone.