NFL

Washington Football Team trainer investigated by the DEA

The trainer has been accused of distributing prescription drugs without authorization.

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Washington Football Team trainer investigated by the DEA
Patrick Smith AFP

The Washington Football team is in the spotlight as one of their trainers is the subject of a DEA probe.

The DEA investigates Ryan Vermillion

According to sources The Drug Enforcement Agency(DEA) has launched an investigation into Washington Football Team trainer Ryan Vermillion with regards to the distribution of prescription drugs. Vermillion is alleged to have allocated prescription drugs to players which in of itself is a federal offense as he is not a physician or nurse practitioner.

Vermillion's house raided

Last Friday The DEA executed a raid on Vermillion's office at the Washington facility in addition to his private residence. Washington coach Ron Rivera said he was not at the facility at the time, but multiple players were. As of Monday Vermillion himself was placed on administrative leave by the club.

Rivera and Vermillion has had a working relationship for years. First in Carolina for nine seasons and then later, when Vermillion joined him in Washington in January of 2020. Washington currently lists the chief medical officer as Anthony Casolaro and Chris Annunziata as the head physician. In the wake of the investigation they have appointed Bubba Tyer - a former trainer for the team - come out of retirement to provide support.

Not the first time the DEA and NFL have crossed paths

In 2014, the DEA performed a series of spot checks on a number of the NFL's medical staff at various airports following games. The effort was part of a wider crack down on prescription drug distribution. At the time agents requested documentation from the visiting teams' medical staffs for controlled substances in their possession. They also wanted certification of jurisdiction as related to doctors' authorization to practice medicine in the state of the home team. The reason behind the entire investigation - according to an AP report - was a lawsuit that had been filed on behalf of some 1200 former NFL players all of whom were plaintiffs in the case.

On Wednesday, the NFLPA released a statement on Wednesday that it formally requested an update on the nature and status of the investigation, calling it a health and safety issue. Washington has subsequently released their own statement saying that the investigation is not "related to the team."

Washington issued a statement saying the investigation was not "related to the team."