Former Running Back Tiki Barber Says That NFL Drug Tests Are Easy to Beat

Former running back and CBS Sports Radio host Tiki Barber appeared on Fox Business on Thursday to discuss his newly launched investment firm intended to back young cannabis startups. 

On the program, Barber explained that 20 to 30 percent of NFL athletes actively consume cannabis, and that the league’s mandatory drug tests aren’t really that difficult to get around.

"We always used to call it like the 'dummy test', because you know when the test is going to happen so just be clean," he said. "As long as you’re not in the program you can probably get away with it, even if they technically know that it’s happening."

While random drug tests are permissible, the NFL’s ban on recreational drugs entails just one test per year. Generally speaking, the window for the annual drug test starts, appropriately, on April 20.

The scheduling for drug tests is so regular, in fact, that organizations like NBC Sports will post tongue-in-cheek articles providing an annual reminder for players to stop smoking.

Clearly, people do not take the ban too seriously. Still, players risk some major consequences if caught using cannabis. Recently, Dallas Cowboy defensive end David Irving publicly railed against the league for suspending him indefinitely over his cannabis use.

In recent months, however, the growing support for cannabis and the benefits it can have for those afflicted with sports-related pain or injuries have prompted the NFL to revaluate their drug policy.


After a battery of tests and misdiagnoses, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease twelve years ago, and thus began a long battle with trial-and-error medical treatments. I changed my diet several times, even though my doctors didn’t seem confident it would change much (it didn’t), went to physical therapy for pain-related issues, and took so many different pharmaceuticals I can’t even begin to recall each and every one. My days were foggy due to side effects from pharmaceuticals, such as steroids, that made me feel worse than I did before I even took them.

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