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9 Jan, 2019 16:57

NFL says ‘no evidence’ anthem protester Reid was targeted with drug tests

NFL says ‘no evidence’ anthem protester Reid was targeted with drug tests

The NFL and NFL Players Association have rejected suggestions by Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid that he was targeted for drugs testing. Reid was the first player to kneel alongside Colin Kaepernick in the anthem protests.

The Panthers player, 27, said in December that he had been tested seven times in the space of 11 weeks as part of the league’s performance-enhancing drug testing program.

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The tests are stated as being random, but Reid suggested that the apparent frequency with which he had been called up meant that was not the case.

“I’m not a mathematician, but there’s no way that’s random,” he had told the media in December after a game against the New Orleans Saints, reportedly implying that he had been targeted due to his role in the anthem protests.   

Yahoo Sports calculated that the likelihood of Reid being randomly selected for that number of tests within the period he stated would be just 0.17 percent.

“That’s a 1-in-588 chance. Reid would have a better chance at correctly guessing a coin flip nine times in a row,” it stated.


However, a joint investigation by the NFL and Players Association concluded that Reid was not targeted for the tests.

"We take any claim questioning the integrity of our collective bargained performance-enhancing drug policy seriously,'' the statement read.

"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 the active roster."

Separately, Reid is also awaiting the outcome of the collusion grievance he filed against the NFL over claims owners plotted to keep him out of the league, after his contract with the San Francisco 49ers expired in March.

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He joined the Panthers in September, when safety Da'Norris Searcy was placed on injured reserve after suffering two concussions in the span of 30 days.

Reid’s collusion grievance is due to be heard at the end of the season.