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Chargers doctor 'totally exonerated'

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A panel of three independent doctors ruled that San Diego Chargers team doctor David Chao is "totally exonerated" after the NFL Players Association claimed that he is unfit to serve in his role, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Saturday.

The doctors found no basis for the NFLPA complaint that Chao should be replaced after losing malpractice suits last summer.

"It seems to me that the players of the National Football League deserve to have a doctor who's not been found liable of malpractice," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a news conference on Jan. 31.

The State of California tried to revoke or suspend Chao's license, citing evidence that he committed acts of gross negligence in his care of three patients in 2007 and 2010. USA Today reported that Chao was found liable for negligence in two malpractice cases, which resulted in multi-million dollar payments to the victims.

Chargers center Nick Hardwick, the team's union representative, told the Union-Tribune that he "completely" trusts Chao.

Quarterback Philip Rivers told the newspaper that "I have no complaints of the care Dr. Chao has provided me."

The league's collective bargaining agreement established a Joint Committee on Player Safety and Welfare, made up by three representatives each from labor and management. The players' union used the provision to spur a formal review of Chao.
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