After thumping the Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves among several visiting NFL teams around the country Sunday that were stopped by federal law enforcement officials conducting compliance checks on team medical staffs.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents from New York met the Bengals at Louis Armstrong International Airport and requested to see their medical practitioners’ registrations and paperwork for any controlled substances they were carrying, said Agent Debbie Webber, a spokeswoman for the DEA’s New Orleans office, adding the team had “everything they were supposed to have.”
“Everything was in compliance,” Webber said, describing the stop as a “very quick” check. “They had all the paperwork they needed.”
The agency conducted a series of spot checks on visiting teams as part of a broader probe into claims by former players that teams have been mishandling prescription drugs, The Associated Press reported. The AP reported Sunday that the investigation stems from a lawsuit filed in May on behalf of former players dating to 1968 — a pool of plaintiffs that tops 1,200 — that claimed the NFL and its teams have disregarded players’ health by doling out prescription painkillers to players as if they were Halloween treats in order to minimize missed playing time.
Other teams stopped Sunday included the San Francisco 49ers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks, all of whom played road games.
Webber said no one with the Bengals was detained or arrested.
“They just did their routine checks on them to make sure they had the licenses they needed to dispense medication here, if need be, while they were here in New Orleans,” she said.
“From what I understand it was a very quick, routine check,” she added, “maybe just to keep them on their toes.”
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