NFL Player Adam Vinatieri Drug Tested After 53-Yard Field Goal

By McCarton Ackerman 01/07/15

The NFL veteran was "randomly selected" for a doping test after his team record-breaking field goal.

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Indianapolis Colts star Adam Vinatieri knicked a 53-yard field goal during the team’s win last weekend over the Cincinnati Bengals, setting a team record in the process, but was forced to take a drug test the day after.  

Vinatieri received a notice less than 24 hours after the game that he had been "randomly selected by the NFL drug testing program's Medical Advisor to complete a urine doping test." However, some of his teammates were less convinced that the 19-year NFL veteran’s doping test was random. 

“When u’re closer to 60 than 20 & bang a 53 yarder 3/4 of the way up the upright…This type of thing is expected #GOAT,” tweeted fellow Colts teammate Pat McAfee.  

Seemingly random doping tests after extraordinary games aren’t entirely uncommon. Last July, U.S. World Cup soccer goalie Tim Howard was selected for a urine test the same day that he made a World Cup record 16 saves during the team’s loss against Belgium. FIFA, the governing body of soccer, selects two players from both teams to be randomly tested after each World Cup match. Howard later joked to ESPN that “maybe” the test became intentionally targeted after his tenth or eleventh save.  

The NFL has been working hard to stamp out illegal drug use in recent months. After the league revised their drug policy last September, human growth hormone testing is now being implemented this season for the first time in the league’s history, and the threshold for a positive marijuana test has increased from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 35ng/ml. Some players had previously complained that the 15ng/ml threshold was so low that a positive test could occur if one was in the vicinity of marijuana smoke.  

Players convicted of driving under the influence will also receive two-game suspensions for a first offense. A separate proposal was made by the NFL to immediately suspend a player upon arrest for DUI while the case makes its way through the legal system, but it was rejected by the players' union.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.