The DEA Is Reportedly Investigating the NFL for Prescription Drug Abuse

Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon (Rich Pilling/SN Archive)

This past May, Jim McMahon and Richard Dent were amongst a group of eight former NFL players that sued the league over illegal painkiller distribution. “The NFL knew of the debilitating effects of these drugs on all of its players and callously ignored the players’ long-term health in its obsession to return them to play,” said players’ attorney Steven Silverman; a few weeks later, hundreds more former players, including ESPN personality Marcellus Wiley, had joined the suit.

According to Michael O’Keefe at the New York Daily News, the lawsuit prompted the feds to launch an investigation:

Agents from the DEA’s New York division are reaching out to former players to learn how NFL doctors and trainers get access to potent narcotics such as Percodan and Vicodin or anti-inflammatories such as Toradol, a nonaddictive prescription drug widely used around the league to treat pain. “They want to find out who provided and distributed the drugs to football players,” one source said.

Both the lawsuit and the investigation could take several years to unwind.

Related: The Next Big NFL Litigation? Former Players Allege Teams Pushed Medications and Painkillers Illegally
Related: Breaking Down the NFL’s Head Injury Litigation
Related: League of Denial, NFL used Position of Influence to Deny Concussion Link


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