The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) crashed NFL games on Sunday to search for narcotics. The DEA questioned team medical staff and inspected bags in an effort to determine whether teams illegally distribute drugs to players.
The San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks admit that federal agents searched them after their road games. The feds focused on road teams because of legal restrictions on doctors and nurses dispensing narcotics outside of the areas in which they practice medicine. The Washington Post and ESPN report that teams cooperated with the investigation.
The Post reports:
Federal law prohibits anyone but a physician or nurse practitioner from distributing prescription drugs, and they must meet myriad regulations for acquiring, storing, labeling and transporting them. It is also illegal for a physician to distribute prescription drugs outside of his geographic area of practice. And it is illegal for trainers to dispense, or even handle, controlled substances in any way.
The raids follow on the heels of a lawsuit with class-action aspirations brought against the league by Jim McMahon, Roy Green, and a smattering of other retired players alleging that “the NFL has intentionally, recklessly, and negligently created and maintained a culture of drug misuse, substituting players’ health for profit.” The retired players allege that teams liberally dispense pain killers, to which at least one of the plaintiffs admits a post-NFL addiction, to enable injured athletes to compete.
A DEA spokesman cited the lawsuit to the Post as a motivation for the surprise appearance of the feds at NFL stadiums on Sunday.