DEA Investigation into Chargers and Padres team Doctors

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The sports world is buzzing with news of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recent decision to look into the professional practices of doctors employed by the San Diego Chargers and San Diego Padres. The investigation is an “attempt to verify the correctness of controlled-substance inventories, records, reports and other documents required to be kept” by the teams’ physicians, according to a statement released by the DEA.

This past Tuesday, the federal agency served ten warrants to facilities in the San Diego area, including the offices of the Chargers and Padres, as a part of its ongoing efforts to verify the legality of the records kept by the teams’ doctors under the Controlled Substances Act.

Although no formal reason for the investigation has been disclosed, the arrest of former Chargers safety Kevin Ellison in late May almost certainly played a hand in spurring the DEA’s current involvement with the two teams. On May 24th, Ellison was stopped by police in his hometown of Redondo Beach for speeding through a school zone. In a search of his car that he acquiesced to, Ellison was found to be in possession of one hundred pills of Vicodin, considered a controlled substance, with an inadequate prescription. Following his arrest, the Chargers released him on June 20th.

Both teams are cooperating fully with the DEA in its efforts. Warren Miller, the director of communications for the Padres, said players and team officials are “fully cooperating with the DEA and have been advised that none of our players is the subject of this investigation.” A subsequent statement released by the Chargers Tuesday night also states compliance with the investigation and addresses the issue of Ellison’s arrest as related to the DEA investigation: “The Vicodin in Kevin’s possession was not provided by the Chargers, its physicians or anyone affiliated with the team.”

As of yet “there are no administrative charges, criminal charges or indictments pending for any of the physicians or pharmacies where the warrants were served”, according to the DEA statement.

Photos from SD Dirk via flickr

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