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Ochocinco tweet leads to scrutiny of NFL drug testing program

It started, as so many NFL stories seem to these days, with a tweet from Chad Ochocinco.

On Tuesday Ochocinco tweeted a link to this photo of a note in his locker informing him that he had to provide a urine sample. Ochocinco treated it as an opportunity to make a joke, saying, “Ok , why does the NFL continue to test me, all I do is piss excellence for them each time.”

But some drug-testing experts say the note in Ochocinco’s locker is no joke. In fact, according to the experts, it exposes a flaw in the league’s testing program.

The note told Ochocinco that if he was “not prepared to provide an adequate specimen,” he should “still check-in with the collector.”

Drug testing experts say that wording essentially functions as written notice that the player will be tested, which gives him time to find ways around the test, such as diluting his urine, taking a masking agent, or grabbing the nearest Whizzinator.

“I cannot believe at this day and time, and after all the attention that drug testing has received, that they are doing this,” World Anti-Doping Agency official Dr. Gary Wadler told the New York Times. “I just don’t believe it — it jeopardizes everything drug testing stands for.”

In Major League Baseball, a player will be told to produce a urine sample immediately, and if he can’t urinate on the spot a chaperone will follow him around until he can. In the NFL, there are no such chaperones.

Personally, I’d hate to be working in an environment where someone came up to me in the morning and informed me that he’d be following me around until I peed in a cup for him. But that’s apparently standard operating procedure in the war on doping.

And now that Ochocinco has exposed the fact that the NFL isn’t following standard operating procedure, the NFL’s procedures may be in for a change.

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30 Responses to “Ochocinco tweet leads to scrutiny of NFL drug testing program”
  1. robert ethen says: Aug 22, 2010 1:55 PM

    Och pisses excellence and spews trash.

  2. Doug O says: Aug 22, 2010 2:24 PM

    Whose pocket was that note wadded up in?

  3. Terry says: Aug 22, 2010 2:24 PM

    Believe it or not, they used to warn them a week in advance that they were on the list for testing on a certain date!

  4. dabbflappy says: Aug 22, 2010 2:27 PM

    Two things the NFL really isn’t passionate about:
    1/ Finding juicers
    2/ Dealing with concussions

  5. dldavidlong says: Aug 22, 2010 2:27 PM

    how dumb are the people who fail when they have advanced warning. same thing happens at my job when they random test you. my boss tells me i have to stop at occnet afterwork. so i just keep a bottle of synthetic urine in my glove box.

  6. footballseason! says: Aug 22, 2010 2:29 PM

    It really took 85’s tweet to expose this? Why wasn’t the doping community already aware that this was the NFL procedure? Apparently the problem isn’t just with the policy itself, but with the oversight of the policy! Somehow I doubt that this was a recent change, but the policy from the beginning.
    Don’t blame 85…that just isn’t fair to this man.

  7. BigBear123 says: Aug 22, 2010 2:30 PM

    Have 2 hours from time of notice at work to make it to the clinic. Randoms are rarely done though, and 2 hours is quite a long time unless you have to deal with LA traffic.
    Can see the NFL having a higher standard, but apparently they don’t. I can see why Percy Harvin goes home sick from so many practices now.
    No time frame, just come in at your leisure. No time stamp on note. So Ocho could technically say he went to the gym after practice or stayed on the field later to run some extra routes and no one would question him while he went for his wizzinator.

  8. RFM says: Aug 22, 2010 2:36 PM

    No big deal. I guess you’ve never spent any time defending our country in the military. What’s creepy is the “chaperon” watching you piss in the sample jar. MANY kids get gun-shy and take hours to fill up the jar at least half way.
    Just like in football, if you submit a bad sample, your career is in jeopardy. And if you think being the testee (no pun intended) is bad, just be glad you’re not the guy that has to escort and witness 10-15 dicks pissing into a jar.
    Reminds me of Happy Days: Potsie doing pushups and the MEPS guy yelling, “NEXT TIME, ONLY FILL UP ONE OF THE CUPS!”

  9. Sheriff04 says: Aug 22, 2010 2:43 PM

    I think the NFL needs to be really questioned hard about this, and hopefully pushed into changing such a stupid procedure they have going. Really amazed at this.

  10. Benchillada says: Aug 22, 2010 2:45 PM

    This is very bad for the potheads.

  11. Jags in GA says: Aug 22, 2010 2:47 PM

    Certainly wouldn’t enjoy the military either. Random sweeps of a unit with names picked by computer or the entire unit getting to piss on command. No chaperone, but not allowed to go anywhere till you can “do your duty”.

  12. goombar2 says: Aug 22, 2010 2:48 PM

    Lotta crickets in here…
    But I suppose, we all know these players are doing shady things. Obviously the NFL is gonna get pressure from this. Goodell is looking for blood for HGH testing too in the CBA.
    Weird that Favre plans retirement after this year right before that testing. I’m sure there’s nothing fishy going on there. There have been lots of athletes that have found the fountain of youth like Rodgers Clemens and Barry Bonds… Opps.

  13. Ron E says: Aug 22, 2010 2:55 PM

    That’s no different from the random testing proceedures I have at work, I get a phone call telling me to go get a drug test, and I have to drive to the clinic. Maybe a NFL player has more options readily available to beat the test, but I assume his drug test is on site and he is expected to go straight there. Anything he does in a short period of time isn’t really enough to beat the test other than if he has a whizzinator and can get another guy he knows is clean to fill it up for him. I don’t know how easy that is, but it’s not without significant risk to both players involved.
    I assume if it comes back inconclusive or if a guy is in the drug program, the testing is different.

  14. Archibald Nemesis says: Aug 22, 2010 2:55 PM

    um, actually the NFL does have chaperones that will follow you around if you can’t produce a sample on the spot.

  15. Ed in NJ says: Aug 22, 2010 2:58 PM

    Those are some real bright bulbs following him and commenting below his tweet.

  16. Qoojo says: Aug 22, 2010 3:04 PM

    The NFL doesn’t really care about catching juicers. What the NFL really cares about is the appearance of trying to catch juicers and cheaters. That’s why the NFL drug program is more an ongoing intelligence test than a drug testing program.

  17. Jjraven says: Aug 22, 2010 4:16 PM

    Test ocho cinco’s pee?? Child please!

  18. mr_snrub says: Aug 22, 2010 4:17 PM

    How much time elapsed between OchoCinco crumbling that thing up & file-13-ing it and deciding to retrieve it from the dumpster & take a photo? That’s the bigger issue. OchoCinco isn’t as quick as he’d have us believe.

  19. Patsfan1776 says: Aug 22, 2010 4:30 PM

    The same NFL, where teams have locker room pharmacies don’t have drug testing kits. I am just shocked.

  20. taylor says: Aug 22, 2010 4:33 PM

    honestly, if anything, it helps himself. he doesn’t seem like the type to dope at all. if they get more strict around the league, that’s less of an advantage for guys that do.

  21. Hype says: Aug 22, 2010 5:23 PM

    goombar2 says: August 22, 2010 2:48 PM
    Weird that Favre plans retirement after this year right before that testing. I’m sure there’s nothing fishy going on there.
    Woa…you should go into boxing..with a reach like that you would be unstoppable.

  22. Norseman says: Aug 22, 2010 5:48 PM

    Geez, cattle, hogs, chickens, and milk cows are pumped full of growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Is it any wonder that so few people see anything wrong with athletes doing the same?
    With all the shit that’s in the food supply, it’s surprising that everyone doesn’t have three tits and glow in the dark.

  23. ufwa says: Aug 22, 2010 6:07 PM

    You mean the the 1st sentence that says that he has to provide a urine sample today does not already tell them they are being tested?
    I guess football players really are stupid.

  24. penguininbondage says: Aug 22, 2010 6:16 PM

    It’s called zero tolerance. Where I work you are notified by your first line sipervisor to report to medical immediately. Failure to do so is just like pissing positive. If you can’t pee you get to sit around for a while. Drinking tons of water is to no avail. The testing method they use can even tell if tap water has been added.

  25. MBJ says: Aug 22, 2010 6:28 PM

    For the most part, none of the major American sports are serious about drug testing. In pro cycling testers can show up unannounced at your door out of season demanding urine AND blood.

  26. edgy1957 says: Aug 22, 2010 6:42 PM

    penguininbondage says:
    your first line sipervisor
    ****************
    So, he’s your drinking buddy? :)

  27. JSpicoli says: Aug 22, 2010 7:39 PM

    I hate that all you comic book/trekkie/NFL fans are surprised. Did you really think this was not the case–giving notice in order to find ways to pass the test?
    If you think for one minute that the NFL is anything close to clean, you should get smarter by sniffing some glue.

  28. Asswipe Johnson (Pronounced Az-Wee-Pay) says: Aug 22, 2010 8:06 PM

    Why do I get the feeling this is going to lead into a new VH1 reality show called – Ochocinco has a talking penis…

  29. Crowder911 says: Aug 23, 2010 5:06 AM

    what a joke…
    that being said…how stupid must the roid heads as such as Cushing and Merriman be to get caught??
    Rookie, pee in my cup = clean
    i really wish the NFL would take more serious AND the NCAA

  30. stetai says: Aug 23, 2010 10:54 AM

    The problem with PED’s in the NFL and all sports is the fans.
    Fans wear blinders and never question why the players are the same size or bigger as they were in the 80’s before drug testing. I shouldn’t even say blinders because they act like NFL players don’t do anything. Oh, wait, according to most fans Brett Favre is the only guy on steroids. I guess when you’re that superior to everyone else at his age you HAVE to question it.

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