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Report: DEA launches probe into NFL prescription drug scandal

07.14.14 at 1:14 pm ET

The NFL already had its hands full when more than 1,300 former players filed a lawsuit in May alleging that NFL teams illegally distributed painkillers and other potent drugs in order to keep players on the field.

Then federal drug agents got involved.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has launched an investigation into the scandal, sending New York agents to talk to former NFL players in order to determine how team trainers and doctors were able to acquire powerful drugs such as Vicodin, the New York Daily News reported.

“They want to find out who provided and distributed the drugs to football players,”€ one source told the Daily News.

“The allegations in our lawsuit, that the NFL has violated state and federal drug laws, have been confirmed by over 1,300 former NFL players,”€ said Steve Silverman, an attorney for the NFL players. “We are pleased to learn that the DEA and United States Department of Justice are also taking our clients’ allegations seriously and are actively protecting the welfare of NFL players.”

The suit, which includes plaintiffs such as former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley, states that NFL teams would hand out a large supply of drugs without warning the players of the dangers of addiction or other negative side effects. The lawsuit states that McMahon soon became addicted to Percoset, taking around 100 pills a month, even during the offseason.

Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent said in the suit that he suffers from permanent nerve damage after playing eight games with a broken foot one season after taking painkillers following surgery.

The DEA investigation could prove to be a big boost for the NFL players, as federal agents may be able to reveal evidence that previously was unavailable to lawyers in a civil case.

The NFL refused to comment on the DEA investigation.

Read More: DEA, jim mcmahon, Marcellus Wiley, NFL