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Ravens not involved with DEA inspections of NFL teams

While the Ravens were on their bye week and did not play Sunday, the medical staffs of several teams were reportedly inspected by officials from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration as part of an investigation into alleged prescription drug abuse in the NFL.

Ravens senior vice president for public and community relations Kevin Byrne said the team was aware of the inspections after seeing the various media reports. Byrne said that, to his knowledge, the Ravens’ medical staff has not been questioned.

The inspections are the result of a class-action lawsuit, filed in San Francisco in May by a group of former NFL players, which alleges that the league illegally provided prescription pills and painkillers, ignoring potential health risks to keep players on the field.

Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin and White, a Baltimore-based law firm, filed the suit on behalf of eight retired players, after investigating the allegations for more than a year.  

"The NFL has supported a drug culture that has provided dangerous painkillers and anti-inflammatories for free to players for years with no warnings as to their side effects or the dangers of mixing them together and with alcohol," said Steve Silverman, a partner at the firm.

According to multiple reports, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, who all played on the road Sunday, were among the teams that were questioned. The inspection involving the Buccaneers took place at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, where the team departed following a victory over the Washington Redskins.

San Francisco 49ers spokesman Bob Lange told ESPN that the inspections were “random checks of team physicians as they travel to see if anyone is transporting controlled substances across state lines. The 49ers' medical staff complied, and the team departed the stadium as scheduled.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that teams cooperated with the DEA and “we have no information to indicate that irregularities were found."

The Ravens' next game is Nov. 24 on the road against the New Orleans Saints.

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