Panthers safety Eric Reid believes he’s being unfairly targeted by performance-enhancing drug tests. The league and the player’s union both say that’s not the case.
In a joint statement from the NFL and the NFL Players Association, both said that they have investigated Reid’s claims and found no reason to believe the PED tests he has taken have been anything other than random selections that all players are subjected to.
“We take any claim questioning the integrity of our collectively bargained performance enhancing drug policy seriously,” the statement said. “We asked the independent administrator of the policy to review and produce a report on the claims of targeting. A copy of this report, which contains personal and confidential testing information, has been provided to Eric Reid. We will not breach any player’s confidentiality, but can confirm that the report documents the dates he was randomly selected for testing and the actual dates of the drug tests. The report also demonstrates that Mr. Reid’s tests were randomly generated via computer algorithm and that his selection for testing was normal when compared with the number of tests players were randomly selected for throughout the league during the time that he was on an active roster. There is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing.”
If this statement were coming only from the NFL, it would be easy to dismiss. But when it comes jointly from the league and the union, it’s much harder to make the case that this is some kind of conspiracy against Reid. It’s in the union’s interests to ensure that its members are treated fairly, and the union accepts that Reid has not been targeted.
If Reid is not satisfied, one step he could take is something that the confidentiality policy does not permit the league and union to do: Release the full report, and let fans and the media see and judge for themselves whether it is persuasive.