The DEA is investigating the abuse of prescriptions drugs in NFL locker rooms, according to the New York Daily News.
The federal agency began its probe after a group of retired players filed a lawsuit against the league, claiming that it illegally administered prescription drugs to them.
The number of players named in the suit has increased from 500 to 750 in the past month. Hall of Famer Richard Dent and former Pro Bowler and current ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley were among those joining the suit.
Dent alleges that players were treated like “livestock” and Wiley said players had access to any prescription drugs they wanted or needed to “get through the day.”
“You can’t walk into a doctor’s office and say, “Give me this, give me that, just to get through the day.’ Somebody would shut the place down,” Wiley said in June. “But that’s what was going on in the NFL. It’s easy to get mesmerized. I won’t deny that; there’s this ‘play through-the-pain, fall-on-the-sword’ culture, and somebody in line ready to step up and take your place.”
The DEA reportedly wants to find out who was providing the drugs to the doctors and distributing them to the players.
Steve Silverman, an attorney for the former players, said the plaintiffs were “pleased” to learn about the DEA investigation.
“The allegations in our lawsuit, that the NFL has violated state and federal drug laws, have been confirmed by over 1,300 former NFL players,” Silverman said. “We are pleased to learn that the DEA and United States Department of Justice are also taking our clients’ allegations seriously and are actively protecting the welfare of NFL players.”
The NFL did comment on the Daily News’ report or the DEA investigation.