Chargers team doctor David Chao was recently cleared by an independent panel, but the NFL Players association still has concerns about his role with the team, according to the Associated Press. The NFLPA had asked San Diego to replace Chao due to his past charges of negligence and malpractice.
Despite Chao's exoneration, NFLPA executive director Maurice Smith isn't convinced the Chargers' doctor deserves to keep his job:
"The fact is that despite having previous malpractice liability judgments against him, neither the Chargers nor the NFL initiated an inquiry or provided any oversight of the doctor the team selected to provide care for our players," Smith said in a statement. "This Article 50 and any subsequent investigations will be initiated when there is credible evidence that calls into question the treatment given to a player and the overall medical care being provided by team selected doctors."
The California medical board sought to revoke Chao's license in 2012, claiming to have evidence that he committed gross negligence on multiple occasions. In 2006, he was defeated in a medical fraud suit that stemmed from his mishandling of a patient in 2003. Chao lost the suit and, the plaintiff was awarded $7.5 million in damages.
Two years ago, Chao was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration for writing 108 prescriptions to himself, a violation of of controlled-substance regulations. He was cleared after an attorney for the pharmaceutical company that filled the prescriptions said they were for the Chargers.
"The NFLPA will take every step to hold the NFL and its member clubs accountable to provide the care that they are mandated to provide," Smith said in the statement. "Dr. Chao's previous medical liability issues only increases our desire to engage in a thorough and comprehensive credentialing process to determine which physicians are providing care to our players and how they were selected by the teams."