January 15, 1989

Many of the revelations in the story about former Cincinnati
Bengal running back Stanley Wilson in the February issue of Penthouse
come down to one man's word against another's. Wilson was banned from
the NFL last May after he was found using cocaine in his hotel room
the night before the Super Bowl. In the story, Wilson accuses one
Bengal, wide receiver Eddie Brown, of buying the coke and two others,
defensive backs Rickey Dixon and Daryl Smith, of using it along with
him. Each player has denied Wilson's charges.
According to NFL policy, a team's drug tests are to be monitored
by a technician employed by the league, not by the team. The NFL
instituted centralized control of testing before the 1988 season, in
part because some teams felt that others weren't being as vigilant as
they should have been in conducting their tests. But for last
season's Super Bowl, the league deviated from its own policy.
Rather than use the technician who had overseen the testing of the
Bengals during the regular season, the NFL turned to Marv Pollins,
Cincinnati's team trainer. Joe Browne, director of communications for
the NFL, offered no explanation for the NFL's decision except to say,
''It was our judgment in the league office that the testing revert to
the '87 policy.'' Before this, Pollins had never supervised the
collection of urine samples for drug tests.
''They asked me if I would do it for the game,'' says Pollins. ''I
don't know why. It was done the way it was supposed to be done.
There's nothing to it. They pee in front of you. They sign a paper
that says that it's their urine, and it's sent off to the lab.''
However, Emanuel King, a Bengal linebacker last season who signed
with the L.A. Raiders as a free agent, said in Penthouse that during
his test the week before the Super Bowl, ''((Pollins)) told me,
'Bring me back some piss -- I don't care whose it is.' '' Pollins
says that King's recollection is ''not true -- no way,'' and that he
watched King produce his specimen.
Whether one believes King or Pollins, the NFL's drug program --
the league would not reveal its plan for testing before this season's
Super Bowl -- leaves much to be desired (SI, July 10, 1989),
especially the fact that the league fails to follow its own
guidelines rigorously.

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