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Court filing suggests NFL teams violated federal prescription drug laws

A sealed court filing reviewed by The Washington Post reveals teams in the National Football League allegedly violated federal prescription drug laws and failed to comply with Drug Enforcement Administration guidance in their frequent distribution of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs to players. The filing is part of a federal lawsuit filed by more than 1,800 former players claiming they've suffered health problems due to "improper and deceptive drug distribution practices by NFL teams," The Post reported. The case is slated to go to trial in October.

The documents present evidence that team officials viewed painkillers as "performance-enhancing drugs" necessary to make their team competitive, and that in 2012 the average team "prescribed nearly 5,777 doses of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and 2,213 doses of controlled medications to its players," The Washington Post reported. A longtime Buffalo Bills trainer testified he'd "witnessed team doctors give players injections of prescription medications without telling them what the drug was they were receiving or its side effects." Anthony Yates, former president of the NFL Physicians Society, testified that "a majority of clubs as of 2010 had trainers controlling and handling prescription medications and controlled substances when they should not have."

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the allegations are "meritless." "The NFL clubs and their medical staffs are all in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act," McCarthy told The Washington Post in an email. "The NFL clubs and their medical staffs continue to put the health and safety of our players first, providing all NFL players with the highest quality medical care. Any claim or suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong."

Read the full story on the allegations at The Washington Post.