NFL teams violated federal laws governing prescription drugs, according to a Washington Post story based on sealed court documents contained in a federal lawsuit filed by former players against the league and reviewed by the newspaper.
The documents showed that the league disregarded guidance from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on how to store, track, transport and distribute controlled substances, the Post said.
The National Football League denied the allegations made in the lawsuit which was brought against the league by a group of retired players.
"The allegations made by plaintiffs are meritless and the league and its clubs will continue vigorously to defend these claims," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Reuters on Thursday in an e-mail when asked for comment.
"The NFL clubs and their medical staffs are all in compliance with the Controlled Substances Act."
"The NFL clubs and their medical staffs continue to put the health and safety of our players first, providing all NFL players with the highest quality medical care. Any claim or suggestion to the contrary is simply wrong."
The sealed court filing, which includes testimony and documents by team and league medical personnel, describes multiple instances in which team and league officials were made aware of DEA guidelines and were either slow in responding or failed to comply, the Post said.
The suit also contained data showing widescale use by medical staff at teams of painkillers and anti-inflammatories, the newspaper said.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the allegations in the suit.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Alison Williams)