KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Chiefs scored a big win over the reigning World Champs on Sunday, beating the Seattle Seahawks 24-20. But it's what happened during the game that's making national headlines a day later.
As the teams played on the field, federal drug agents conducted a surprise inspection in the Seattle Seahawks locker room, according to the team and a Seattle TV station. The DEA visited with Seattle's medical staff and looked in their medical bags, looking for evidence proving the possible misuse of prescription painkillers.
As far as we know, the drug agents did not question the Chiefs medical staff. It was one of at least three surpise drug inspections on visiting NFL teams.
Besides Seattle, federal drug agents in New York met with the medical staff of the San Francisco 49ers after their game against the Giants. They also reportedly met with trainers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before they flew home after their game against the Washington Redskins.
The reason the DEA targeted road teams is because doctors cannot hand out prescription painkillers outside the facilities where they are registered, meaning they cannot give players painkillers away from their home stadium.
The raids were initiated after a lawsuit was filed earlier this year by former NFL players, who claim trainers and physicians routinely and illegally gave them prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin to help mask their injuries, so they could continue playing. The named players in the lawsuit include former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon who, according to the lawsuit, says he got hooked on painkillers by taking as many as 100 Percocet pills a month.
Other allegations include that drugs were being administered by staff -- specifically athletic trainers -- lacking the licenses to do so. If true, these actions would violate the Controlled Substances Act.
Sunday's questioning of doctors and trainers were administrative and not criminal. No arrests were made, he said.
"Our teams cooperated with the DEA today, and we have no information to indicate that irregularities were found," said Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of corporate communications.
An NFL spokesman said all the teams involved cooperated and said the DEA found no irregularities and made no arrests. But we have yet to hear from the DEA, as the investigation is ongoing.
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