NFL worries that other sample collectors may be corrupt

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Ideally, the story of Broncos linebacker Von Miller working with a sample collector to help Miller pass his drug tests never would have hit the media’s radar screen.  Even more ideally, it’ll go away as quickly as it emerged.

It won’t.

While the report from Mortensen and Schefter didn’t quite rise to the level of Woodward and Bernstein (despite ESPN’s best efforts to promote it that way), their ability to connect dots that already were in plain view makes it difficult if not impossible for the NFL to persist with its “nothing to see here” mentality regarding the potential problems with the league’s collection of men who collect cups of urine for a living.

Previously, they’ve operated in the shadows.  Even after former Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams produced
“non-human urine” during a collection process that is supposed to be visibly observed, the education, credentials, experience, and integrity (or lack thereof) of the sample collectors never had been seriously questioned because no one had been paying attention.

Now, they will.

The same source who told PFT back in the middle of August that the league was treading lightly with the Von Miller case because of concerns regarding the sample collection process now tells PFT that the league is concerned that other collectors may have been engaged in similar misconduct.  Another source tells PFT that those concerns are real and valid.

Coupled with the likelihood that the Miami-based collector who conspired with Miller may have helped other players provide clean urine, it’s clear that the NFL has a problem that mandates significant action.  Ultimately, the entire mechanism for collecting urine may have to be revamped in order to ensure that these types of things won’t happen in the future.

While there’s no reason to think the league will ignore the problem, there’s every reason to think the league prefers that the rest of us do.  Given the army of reporters who are at all times chasing NFL-related stories, it’s only a matter of time before Outside The Lines devotes an entire program to blowing the lid off the process of putting a lid on a cup full of something other than apple juice.

48 responses to “NFL worries that other sample collectors may be corrupt

  1. Who would think that lackey sample collectors making 30-60k may be influenced by millionaires who can give them a 100k handshake? No way…say it aint so

  2. No way! These beastmen are all natural! Wouldn’t they look like they were juicing if they were juicing?? Wait a minute…

  3. The whole system needs to be reviewed. If collectors will take bribes to get out of a positive test, who’s to say they won’t blackmail money out of players by threatening to have them fail the tests?

    It’s already been proven that it’s corrupt with the Von Miller incident. Time to restart the program with more checks and balances to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

  4. This better not become an MLB-esque issue. Baseball is forever tainted and lost all of its legitimacy because of this. The NFL is too important to let this stuff slide

  5. Maybe a blood sample taken in the presence of another person would eliminate cheating and allow HGH teasting. If you car about PEDs.

  6. Dino, I swear before I even saw your post, Cheap Shot Clay was the first name that occurred to me.

  7. The NFL would be better worried about their own corruption.

    By issuing what really amounts to a slap on the wrist penalty by giving such a minimal suspension, the NFL has sent a loud and clear message to all it’s players:

    “It’s worth the risk to evade or corrupt drug testing.”

    Suspending Miller for a full season – AT THE VERY LEAST – might have shown that the NFL is serious.

    They’ve sent an unfortunate message to every player – as well as every kid – in the nation.

  8. It’s a simple fix. DO NOT contract out this stuff. Hire collectors at the NFL level (working directly for the league office). They could mandate each team provide an employee to verify the entire process during the collection so there is no longer any shenanigans due to a lack of witnesses. Seal the containers and have the player sign the seal and acknowledge on a log that all is intact. Send all the samples to an approved lab through a controlled process that allows for logistics issues.

    The reason that this program is messed up is because they have tried to make sure it is not an inconvenience. There should be ZERO notification of a random test.

  9. Why would the story hitting the media then going away be more ideal (for the league, presumably) than it not hitting the media at all? That makes no sense.

  10. As an old lab man, I know there is much more to taking a sample than unscrewing the sample bottle lid and filling it.

    There are procedures with vulnerable points.

  11. In today’s environment of seemingly total video surveillance it would seem a solution could be found. Wouldnt be foolproof but could be part of solution including one other witness, signed chain of custody etc. I’m sure the NFL can figure it out–if they really ant to

  12. Wonderful! As if things weren’t messed up enough, now they have to worry about their Mr. PeePee not doing his job!

  13. how about, the NFL not worry about players using PED’s? Make them sign a waiver that if they choose to do so the league is not responsible for any and all side effects, oh wait that would be easy………… Instead the league will come up with 30 new rules to limit how hard a juiced player is allowed to hit another player, juiced or not juiced

  14. It’s a miracle that the NFL is a billion dollar business when you consider how poorly it’s run. The NFL is just now worried that the drug testing system could be corrupt? Reactive instead of proactive, I see.

    You get a call from HQ and they say “go to [blank] location by [blank] time today for a drug screening.” You go, pee in a cup, give it to the person working, and go on your way.

    Now, could a person easily bribe an employee to switch the urine and/or return the test as negative? YES!! Especially considering a lot of these NFL players are multi-millionaires and most of these urine collectors are just scrapping by.

  15. “Ultimately, the entire mechanism for collecting urine may have to be revamped in order to ensure that these types of things won’t happen in the future.”
    D’ya think?
    Problem is, if the NFL got serious about detection and and resulting suspensions, the product on the field would be in jeopardy. They ain’t gonna do that!

  16. there players are fools. even if you are on steroids you can taper off and beat any test. I smoke like a chimney and I could easily quit 1.5 months ahead of time for a 1 million dollar + check.

  17. If your job was to collect urine from dudes, would you even tell anybody? How much does that pay? Does that require college? Please, please, lets just go to no testing or blood testing.

  18. I guarantee you that this is a big problem in both the NFL and Baseball. It is so obvious some of the players are using performance enhancing (I’m looking your way Miguel Cabrera), you just wonder if these guys are really being tested. They only other way to get around the system, is if those administering it are cheating with you.

  19. I am somehow reminded of that classic line in the movie “The Last Boyscout”…

    “You don’t look like you can protect a cup of warm piss!”

  20. A billion dollar industry doesn’t have its own in-house department of geeks and nerdy lab technicians? This is the sound of simian heads being scratched.

  21. prior military here,

    I used to see this all the time in the military, pecker checkers as we called em would turn there head while another dude would piss for em and they would find a whad of cash sitting on top of the toilet for saving there careers. You know these millionaire football players are doing the same things for these so called collectors who make 50k a year instead find 20-30grand sitting on top of the toilet instead of a couple hundred dollars. FACT>

  22. Who cares? Let them all juice. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t automatically make you into a pro bowler. you still have to catch, throw, block, run,”think”.

  23. tokyosandblaster says:
    Sep 23, 2013 1:31 PM
    Everyone that has helped Adrian Peterson should be checked, double checked, and triple checked.
    Everyone knows the first one to be checked is Clay Matthews.

  24. I don’t give a nutty squirrel turd if NFL players are on drugs. Nothing and I mean nothing will ever get us to stop watching/supporting the shield. Football is king, and the king does whatever the bleep he wants.

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