The NFL is warning its own players that beef is so highly-contaminated with steroids that consuming the meat could cause them to fail mandatory drug tests.
Beef and other meats produced in countries such as Mexico and China may contain a substance called “clenbuterol“—which could result in athletes testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Clenbuterol is an unapproved ingredient by the FDA and the use of the substance on animals that are intended for human consumption is banned.
NFL players received a memo from the league’s drug administrator saying, “consuming large quantities of meat while visiting those particular countries may result in a positive test.
“Players are responsible for what is in their bodies.”
As with many professional sports, “doping” is a common and controversial practice—but now, simply eating a cheeseburger could jeopardize their careers.
The Free Thought Project pointed out:
“Under normal circumstances, the policy would seem like common sense, but since the repeal of mandatory country of origin of meat labeling, Americans now have no way of identifying where their meat was produced.
“Much of the meat Americans are eating now, could very well be from Mexico and China.”
NFL players have taken to social media to express their concerns after they were briefed on the memo:
— Patrick Peterson /P2 (@P2) May 3, 2016
“Texans left tackle Duane Brown tested positive for clenbuterol last season after a bye-week trip to Mexico, during which he ate Mexican beef, sources told ESPN.
“After a months-long process, Brown was finally cleared in April, sources said, allowing him to avoid what would have been a 10-game suspension. His case serves as a cautionary tale for other players…
“Mexican cattle ranchers are banned from using clenbuterol as a growth enhancer, but reports suggest that it is still used widely.”
This news comes just five months after Congress voted to abolish mandatory “country of origin” labeling on foods.
Thus, the NFL memo could be considered unfair, since the new US laws make it very difficult to know where the origin of their food comes from.
Since this is the case, holding individual players responsible for unintentionally ingesting banned substances makes the NFL’s rules hard to follow and could lead to unjust penalization.