Bears Tracy Porter explains NFL’s ‘unbelievable, unrealistic system’ for verifying drugs

LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Bears’ cornerback Tracy Porter had to handle the heat at Halas Hall today even though he didn’t do anything wrong.

Porter and another man used to protecting his teammates, Bears left tackle Charles Leno Jr., had to speak on behalf of the rest of the locker room following the team’s second PED suspension in a week.

Inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman is the latest Bear to be slapped with a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Freeman apologized to the team and fans, saying he ‘made a mistake’ with his prescription medication.

According to Porter, a mistake like that isn’t all that hard to make.

“If you looked at this list and seen the things that were banned substances you’d be looking at it for days. There’s different processes to get these things looked at and approved by the league but unfortunately it still happens. It’s not purposely done. Guys may think ‘Oh, it’s harmless,’ but in fact there may be this one from the banned substance list that we can’t use.”

The list of banned substances is available online.

There’s also an app that allows players to scan the barcode of the product in question, as well as a hotline to call for verification.

“They will go through the list and tell you something doesn’t have any banned substances in it. They’re always going to tell you at the end, they’re going to tell you ‘X, Y and Z doesn’t have anything that’s illegal, but you’re ultimately responsible for what you put into your body.’ I don’t know if that’s them taking the heat off of them if anything happens or what not, but at the end of the day we are responsible for what goes into our bodies.”

Even with all of those resources, there’s still some uneasiness when it comes to being absolutely sure.

“It can be all legal, but it can be the machine that was contaminated that can cause a positive test for a substance that’s in it. It’s an unbelievable, unrealistic system, but that’s how it works.”