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1985 Bears Coverage: Singletary rips Pats’ tests

Every day of the 2015 Chicago Bears season, Chicago Sun-Times Sports will revisit its coverage 30 years ago during the 1985 Bears’ run to a Super Bowl title.

Singletary rips Pats’ tests

Brian Hewitt

Originally published Jan. 29, 1986

Bears player representative Mike Singletary reacted angrily yesterday to Monday’s decision by the New England Patriots to submit to voluntary postseason drug testing.

“If they had won the game, it wouldn’t have happened,” said Singletary, referring to Sunday’s 46-10 victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XX. “I think you’re looking for something when you’re not winning.”

Singletary said the Bears met earlier in the season and decided, as a team, not to submit to postseason urinalysis tests that can determine drug use.

“It’s a matter of principle,” Singletary said. “It’s one of those things we’re just not going to do.”

Meanwhile, general manager Jerry Vainisi said the Bears planned to fine players refusing to submit to the test.

“They the players say they’re not obligated,” Vainisi said. “We say they are.”

But Bears sources said players were not asked to leave urine samples when they reported for their customary postseason physical exams at the team’s Lake Forest headquarters yesterday.

Singletary said the courts still were deciding whether the team had the right to fine players for refusing to take the tests.

“If we have to be fined for it, we have to be fined,” he said.

Singletary also pointed out that the Bears had submitted to periodic urinalysis tests during the season as part of the
collective-bargaining agreement between players and management.

Singletary and eight other players are here for Sunday’s Pro Bowl.

Neither Vainisi nor Singletary reported any drug use among Bear players. The Patriots, however, acknowledged a problem.

“We do not have a bad problem on our team,” said Patriots running back Craig James, a member of the AFC Pro Bowl squad. “Yet we feel if we have one or two guys that need help, that’s what we’re going after. We want a 100 percent pure ballclub. That’s our goal.”

The National Football League Players Association also was upset with the Patriots’ unilateral decision to submit to testing.

“They the Patriots have gone around the collective-bargaining agreement,” NFLPA chief Gene Upshaw said.

“Clubs cannot go out and make their own policy.”

“I don’t know why in the world you take urinalysis when the season’s over,” Singletary said. “We’ve done what we’ve had to do. It’s time to go home.”