Panthers safety Eric Reid complained after Thursday night’s game that he’s been tested for performance-enhancing drugs far more than should be expected if the testing is truly random. The NFL quickly pushed back against those comments.
Reid, who was ejected from the game for a hit on Ben Roethlisberger, told reporters afterward that he was required to submit to a drug test for the fifth time since signing with the Panthers six weeks ago.
“This is like the fifth time since I’ve been here,” he said. “They’re not going to catch me on anything.”
That led to some chatter that perhaps the NFL is targeting Reid, who has filed a collusion claim accusing league owners of conspiring to keep him out of the NFL because he kneeled during the national anthem.
But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote on Twitter on Friday morning that the league and the players’ union jointly oversee the random PED testing process.
“Re: PED testing: Each week during the season, 10 players per club will be tested,” McCarthy wrote. “By means of a computer program, the policy’s jointly appointed Independent Administrator randomly selects before the game players to be tested.”
McCarthy provided a link to the NFL-NFLPA policy to show exactly how testing works. While it’s easy to believe NFL owners kept Reid out of the league because of his protest, it’s extraordinarily difficult to believe that the NFL is subverting the drug testing policy in an attempt to frame Reid. If he’s been tested more times than most players, it was probably just the luck of the draw.