Six NFL teams including the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49’ers, were surprised with postgame visits on Sunday by DEA officials. The inquiries were involving the medical practices of the away teams. Per the Washington Post, the goal of the inspection was to uncover any unmarked prescription bottles or team employees in possession of drugs that they did not have the authority to prescribe.
This is coming as a result of the May lawsuit filed by 1300 former NFL players who claimed they were provided with prescription meds to help them play through pain and injuries.
Under the Controlled Substances Act, only licensed physicians and nurse practitioners are allowed to dispense prescription drugs, and they can only do so in their “geographic area,” which is why the federal agents targeted traveling NFL teams
The DEA also has reason to believe visiting team physicians may not be keeping “readily retrievable documents,” that spell out which prescription drugs are administered and to whom, the federal law enforcement source said.
The lawsuit highlighted reckless and unlawful behavior such as:
being given unlabeled medications in hazardous combinations, teams filling out prescriptions in players’ names without their knowledge, trainers passing out pills in hotels or locker rooms, and medications handed out on team planes after games while alcohol was consumed.
This is an interesting turn of events. Didn’t think it was possible for the NFL’s PR positioning to move up another notch. Football is a violent sport. These latest issues will determine the future of the game, and ultimately whether the teams or the players are responsible for the byproducts of it.
* This post was updated Nov. 17th