The National Football League (NFL) faces a lawsuit from former professional football players for federal drug violations. They are suing the league in U.S. District Court in Northern California, claiming they suffer long-term organ and joint damage, among other illnesses, due to the improper and deceptive drug distribution practices by NFL teams.
The Washington Post reviewed the sealed court documents from the lawsuit and found that NFL teams “violated federal laws governing prescription drugs, disregarded guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration on how to store, track, transport and distribute controlled substances, and plied their players with powerful painkillers and anti-inflammatories each season.”
The sealed court filing includes testimony and documents by team and league medical personnel, describing multiple instances in which team and league officials were made aware of abuses, record-keeping problems and violations of federal law. The filing asserts that “every doctor deposed so far… has testified that they violated one or more” federal drug laws and regulations “while serving in their capacity as a team doctor.”
The case isn’t scheduled for trial until October. The players’ attorneys say in their filing they already have compiled “hundreds of thousands of pages of documents.” “These doctors and trainers dispensed the Medications to their football patients in an amount and manner they would never do with their non-football patients,” the former players said in their complaint.
Having decades of experience participating in triathlons and other races, Lawyer Doug Landau personally understands that players really depend on team doctors and trainers for competent medical advice. He himself had terrific experiences with TeamUSA trainers, doctors, chiropractors, and massage therapists.
Landau believes that these medical professionals first allegiance should be to the player or patient, and not the team, league or owners. He states, “The fact that EVERY single doctor deposed so far under oath said that they broke the law should tell you that this is a problem that is way out of control. These doctors could lose their licenses to practice medicine and such willful violation of the law, at the behest of the teams’ coaches, owners and management, should result in criminal prosecution. In light of the lives ruined and the abuse of the trust placed in them, these team physicians should be subject to severe penalties.”