NFL says that there is no targeting or impropriety concerning Eric Reid's random drug tests

By Scooby Axson
January 09, 2019

The NFL and NFL Players Associated released a statement on Wednesday concerning Eric Reid and league's performance enhancing drug policy, saying they didn't target the Carolina Panthers safety after Reid was selected for seven random drug tests this season.

Reid has said that the tests don't seem random, as it seemed every other week he was selected to submit a drug test. Reid was signed by the Panthers at the end of September, after spending his first five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

"I've been here 11 weeks, I've been drug-tested seven times," Reid said after a Week 15 loss to the New Orleans Saints. "That has to be statistically impossible. I'm not a mathematician, but there's no way that's random."

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"We take any claim questioning the integrity of our collectively bargained performance enhancing drug policy seriously," a statement for the NFL and NFLPA said. "We asked the independent administrator of the policy to review and produce a report on the claims of targeting. A copy of this report, which contains personal and confidential testing information, has been provided to Eric Reid. We will not breach any player's confidentiality, but can confirm that the report documents the dates he was randomly selected for testing and the actual dates of the drug tests. The report also demonstrates that Mr. Reid's tests were randomly generated via computer algorithm and that his selection for testing was normal when compared with the number of tests players were randomly selected for throughout the league during the time that he was on an active roster. There is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing."

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported it was determined that Reid was drug tested fewer times than he publicly claimed. But as noted in a Sports Illustrated story, it could be that only six of the tests were "random," and that one was mandatory. Reid could have been tested seven times as he claims, but the NFL is only counting six as randomly administered.

Reid was one of the players who protested along with former teammate Colin Kaepernick and subsequently filed a grievance against the NFL in May, saying that teams were colluding to keep him out of league because he took a knee during the national anthem.

The NFL says that the drug tests are overseen by an independent administrator and that a computer randomly selects 10 players on every team to be tested for a given week.

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