Wednesday morning, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association issued a statement regarding the numerous drug tests administered to Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid. Reid finished the season with 71 tackles, one sack and one interception after appearing in 13 games. However, allegations by Reid suggested the league has drug tested him more frequently than others.
However, the National Football League has drug tested Reid seven times. The first drug test took place prior to signing his Panthers contract and six subsequent tests were done after joining the team.
The statement from the NFL and NFLPA reads in full:
“We take any claim questioning the integrity of our collectively bargained performance enhancing drug policy seriously. 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.”
According to the NFL Players Association, “Each week during the preseason and regular season, ten (10) Players on every Club will be tested. By means of a computer program, the Independent Administrator will randomly select the Players to be tested from the Club’s active roster, practice squad list, and reserve list who are not otherwise subject to ongoing reasonable cause testing for performance-enhancing substances.”
By comparison, the Panthers had seventy-two players on their active roster. Of course, ten of those are selected each week, resulting in a 13.8% chance of being tested during the week. According to ForTheWin, the chances of one player being “randomly” selected 5 times in 8 weeks is about 0.2% (you have the same chance of flipping a coin and getting the same result nine times in a row).
“It doesn’t feel very random,” Reid said.