Panthers safety Eric Reid seems to have a problem with the number of times he’s been randomly tested for PEDs since returning to the NFL. If so, he’s got a problem with both the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and ultimately with the independent party responsible for implementing PED testing.
Every week during the regular season and preseason, 10 players from each team are selected for a random PED test. Reid, after taking a standard pre-employment PED test when signing, has had his number come up five times in two months with the team. He recently said that he smells something fishy.
“I’ve been here seven, eight weeks,” Reid said, via the Charlotte Observer. “I’ve been drug tested six times. It’s supposedly random but I know what I’m fighting against, I know who I’m fighting against. It’s tactics that they’re using for the collusion suit.”
By saying “they,” Reid implies that the NFL has somehow pulled strings or fudged numbers to ensure his “random” selection. This ignores the basic rules and realities of the PED process. The NFL doesn’t implement the testing, the “Independent Administrator” does. And the “Independent Administrator” is jointly hired by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. And the “Independent Administrator” is jointly paid by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. And the “Independent Administrator” determines which players from each team will be randomly selected for PED testing.
And all of this was collectively bargaining by the league and the union.
By suggesting foul play, Reid is essentially claiming that: (1) the NFL and NFLPA are working together to rig the system through the Independent Administrator, and that the Independent Administrator is going along with it; (2) the NFL has gone directly to the Independent Administrator, convincing it to rig the system even though the Independent Administrator works for both the NFL and the NFLPA; or (3) the NFL has remotely hacked the Independent Administrator’s computer system and rigged it to repeatedly pull Reid’s number. If he believes any of those things, Reid should file a grievance or other legal action aimed at getting to the bottom of the situation, tracking down the records and digital footprints proving whether Reid’s selection was the result of a truly random process.
If Reid were to prove that someone had messed with the algorithm to ensure that he’s tested more often than he otherwise would be or should be.
“I don’t have anything to hide,” Reid said. “Secondly, this is supposed to be a random system. It doesn’t feel very random. Plus, I’m privy to information that’s in my lawsuit that’s not free to the public. So I know who I’m going against and it’s not surprising in the least.”
Whether Reid was the victim of collusion is one thing. Whether the league, the union, or both managed to corrupt the Independent Administrator for the purpose of harassing Reid by forcing him to submit to PED testing five times in eight weeks is quite another. Reid has taken action in response to his suspicion that collusion happened; if he thinks that someone rigged the random PED testing process in an effort to mess with him, he should take action in response to those suspicions, too.