NFL explains ban on players recording their drug tests

Getty Images

The NFL says Steelers linebacker James Harrison — like all other players — is barred from recording a drug test because of an agreement between the league and the players’ union that recording tests could undermine the integrity of the testing process.

After Harrison wrote that he was told he wasn’t allowed to record the surprise performance-enhancing drug test he got on Tuesday, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email that the ban on videotaping keeps cheaters from learning ways to manipulate the process.

“A player may not film a drug test,” McCarthy wrote. “Both the league and NFLPA recognize that the collection protocols and procedures are designed to ensure the accuracy and identification of the specimens to be tested. To maintain the integrity of the protocols and protect against the possibility of manipulation of the process at the time or during future tests, the policy prohibits devices and other objects in the collection area or taking photographs or video of specific collections. There are a number of protections in place for both the player and collector to ensure that the protocols are properly followed. In addition to the multi-step verification of identity and confirmations of specimen and bottle integrity, the protocols expressly allow both the player and collector to note and report for investigation any perceived irregularity or deviation in the collection process.”

That explanation makes sense in light of the recent news that Russia schemed to cheat at the 2014 Olympics by replacing urine collected in drug tests with clean urine. In order to pull off that cheating program, Russia had to know details such as the types of cups used in the collection process and the numbers on the cups. If the NFL allowed drug tests to be recorded, it would be easier for cheaters to get that information.

And so everyone who was eager to see James Harrison urinating on Instagram will have to go away disappointed: That’s not allowed under NFL rules.

37 responses to “NFL explains ban on players recording their drug tests

  1. First of all integrity and the NFL do not go hand in hand. The people working for the NFL in any capacity wouldn’t know what integrity is even if it slapped them upside their empty heads. Second of all what guarantees do the players have that the specimen(s) they provide are the actual ones that end up being tested and/or that the tests are actually accurate?

  2. dukeearl says:
    May 19, 2016 9:10 AM
    Recording should be ENCOURAGED to protect both the NFL and the player.
    ___

    Agreed. The NFL’s explanation just throws the word “integrity: and “process” around. Filming the entire process would be proof of what is done instead of just relying on the NFL’s word that they are of the utmost integrity in what they do.

  3. “Russia schemed to cheat at the 2014 Olympics by replacing urine collected in drug tests with clean urine.”
    This wasn’t a surprise to anyone who noted Putin taking that ring from Kraft.

  4. And so everyone who was eager to see James Harrison urinating on Instagram will have to go away disappointed: That’s not allowed under NFL rules.
    ——————

    I am sure the NFL has no specific rules about Harrison urinating on Instagram, just not during their test

  5. Wow. The league’s statement makes some sense.

    And it was FAST! Did you notice how quickly they stemmed the potential flow of misinformation that could potentially promote a false narrative?

    Imagine if they were just as quick to correct the false information about the PSI levels in all 16 measured 2015 AFCCG balls. Boyyy that would have prevented a whoooole lotta garbage from happening.

    Ironically, it seems that the league suffered the most damage from that oversight. As of now, the vast majority of NFL fans, even those that despise the Patriots are convinced that the league office is a sketchy as FIFA.

  6. Just use a hidden camera. It’s his home. He controls the environment. But don’t reveal amy thing has been taped unless you have clear and compelling evidence you were screwed.

  7. This is a bit disappointing. I thought we’d for sure see the day where leaked NFL kielbasa was going to be new fad on the net. Here’s to hoping something changes!

  8. How many players have been caught using HGH since the NFL’s joke of a test was unveiled? I’m sure it’s zero because no players use the stuff.

  9. I understand they are worried about cheating……….elephant in the room………ok I’ll say it……NEW ENGLAND

  10. The “Shield” used to be a word that was used as a positive in the NFL. Now it’s obvious that shield means hiding behind the term integrity and having no clue what integrity is. This is Goodell’s and the current crop of jealous, greedy owners legacy. They destroyed the trust that the league was genuinely honestly and fairly run at the league level. That ship has sailed and we are left trusting no one. Awesome, great job boys and girls. Now we need to question everything. Every replay determined by an unqualified, never ref’d guy in a cushy office in NYC. Every discipline handed down by an out of control, no, strike that, a totally controlled commissioner who serves at the whim of his masters the owners. Every little infraction is now blown completely out of proportion. The list can go on but the game has become secondary now and that’s a real shame.

  11. Baloney. Randomly changing the cups make, model, and color is just as easy as setting up the random test. This is to keep Roger Goodell from getting embarrassed next time he decides to manufacture a case against another player.

  12. 8oneanddones says:
    May 19, 2016 10:11 AM

    How many players have been caught using HGH since the NFL’s joke of a test was unveiled? I’m sure it’s zero because no players use the stuff.
    ———————————————————-
    One has………..but, you know, he was “special”.

  13. chesswhileyouplaycheckers says:
    May 19, 2016 9:31 AM

    And so everyone who was eager to see James Harrison urinating on Instagram will have to go away disappointed: That’s not allowed under NFL rules.
    ——————

    I am sure the NFL has no specific rules about Harrison urinating on Instagram, just not during their test
    ——-

    True….however the NFL doesn’t need any specific rules. I’m pretty sure that urinating on instagram would fall into the conduct detrimental category (in fact Roger is capable of spinning anything into that category) and then it’s anything goes.

  14. Terribly counter-intuitive when you actually think about it. Their afraid the cheaters will see holes in the process and exploit them? Maybe they should be studying the videos to find the holes first and plug them???

    Because there are holes. And all ignoring them does is means those who have found them (I’ve no doubt there are a few) can exploit without concern. This reminds me of software companies who don’t want vulnerabilities in their products made public…we know how that ends.

  15. I am stunned that they are not already being recorded by the league. How can they protect themselves from claims that collectors acted inappropriately?

    Only the NFL would try to make such an antiquated argument. Everything is recorded these days and it has led to a lot more transparency. For the NFL to argue that having no video record somehow makes the process more legitimate is almost as stunning as you agreeing with them.

  16. “McCarthy wrote” my ass. Tell me that response wasn’t written by a room full of lawyers.

  17. The stars of the NFL, NBA and MLB NEVER get popped for PEDs… That would be bad for ratings and the sport…

    Speaking of PEDs, how’s Lebron and JJ Watt doing? 🙂

  18. If players get better at circumventing drug tests, Jerruh Jones will have a harder time knowing which players he wants to sign. Bad news for the Cowgirls.

  19. So the NFL can get so specific on the testing policy that they ban recording video of the procedure, but they still can not clearly define a catch.

  20. So let me get this straight:
    If a player beats a drug/PED test, and ultimately retires from the NFL, he can later sue the NFL for any symptoms/condition that results from the drug use. The excuse is that he “needed” drugs to maintain his performance, or to deal with the stresses of being an NFL player, or “the NFL did NOTHING to stop the player from taking drugs. So De Smith and his media buddies think that the NFL should be liable for the actions of the player.

    BUT if the NFL so much as dares to minimize its liability by conducting drug tests on players, well then the NFL is just pure evil right?

    Wrong. If the player takes drugs, then videotapes the test (i MUST assume that he would do this solely for the purposes of beating the test in the future), then he should be prosecuted to the fullest exent of the law.
    Players CANNOT have it both ways.

  21. If you want to know how to get away with riod use all the players have to do is ask clay “riod” mathews. Or do they just just not check the “faces of the franchise”

  22. I simply don’t understand why any athlete that IS currently on a team risking their contract over taking PED’s.
    I think they need to see the salaries of their future job to understand how good they have it.

  23. So change the style of the cups in a random manner or put i.d. numbers on them that are too small to show up in a recording, and vary the protocols. Considering the arbitrary nature of NFL disciplinary procedures it would behoove a player to make a record.

  24. All you people are caught up in the current “record everything” culture.
    Question: As many years that Harrison has been in the league, why is it so important for him to record this test now? Especially considering that this is likely his last season.
    Harrison knows the rules of drug testing. He knew they weren’t going to allow him to film it. I may be completely wrong, but my theory is that Harrison knows that he has something illegal in his system and this is a way to delay the process to give his system a chance to clear itself.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.