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Just how serious is the federal investigation into NFL painkiller abuse




SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 09: A San Francisco 49ers player carries his helmet before their game against the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park on December 9, 2012 in San Francisco, California.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 09: A San Francisco 49ers player carries his helmet before their game against the Miami Dolphins at Candlestick Park on December 9, 2012 in San Francisco, California.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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Over the weekend, DEA agents made a surprise visit to several NFL locker rooms to question medical staff members over the distribution of painkillers in the league. The DEA spoke with the medical staff of the New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers among others.

This comes after dozens of former NFL players filed a lawsuit alleging they were given prescription drugs. The suit claims players lined pregame “to receive injections of Toradol in a ‘cattle call’... regardless of whether the player had an injury of any kind.” The players contend that the league failed to warn them of the consequences of the drugs, which “can prevent the feeling of injury” and thus make it harder for them to recognize when they had concussions. A 2011 study, by the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, found that “fifty percent of retired players used prescription pain medication during their playing days and 71 percent of those said they misused them then.”

Guest:

Mel Owens, sports law attorney representing athletes suing the NFL; founding partner of the firm Namanny, Byrne & Owens representing professional athletes, former NFL linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams (1981-89)

Don Catlin, founder & Director of the Anti-Doping Research Institute; founder of the UCLA Olympic Analytical Laboratory; Professor Emeritus of Molecular Pharmacology at UCLA School of Medicine

Richard Mangan, Former DEA investigator and professor of criminal justice, Florida Atlantic University