Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration conducted surprise inspections of some of the teams in the National Football League last weekend, talking to team medical personnel as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected abuse of prescription drugs among players in the league.
Agents searched equipment bags belonging to team medical staff and spoke to team doctors, all of which was due to suspicions that that certain NFL teams have been covertly and illegally providing drugs to players in an effort to keep them on the field after sustaining injury. Doing so violates the Controlled Substances Act and carries with it extremely stiff sanctions.
The inspections were targeted at teams that were traveling to other team stadiums partly in an effort to see if medical staff was carrying prescription drugs illegally across state lines.
DEA agents worked in conjunction with agents from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and carried out inspections of multiple NFL teams including the San Francisco 49ers who were at the Meadowlands to play the New York Giants, the Seattle Seahawks who were in Kansas City to play the Chiefs, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who were in Washington, DC to play the Washington Redskins. The inspection of the Buccaneers’ medical staff was carried out at Baltimore-Washington International airport but sources with the DEA say that a full inspection of the Tampa Bay staff and their bags was not conducted.
According to a spokesperson with the NFL, it was confirmed that several teams met with DEA agents on Sunday and cooperated fully. As of Wednesday there were no reports of any irregularities among any of the teams that were inspected.
Agents said that the teams that were inspected were specifically targeted but did not say why. He also stated that the DEA will carry out surprise inspections of other teams in the future but would not say which teams would be targeted.