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Panthers’ safety Eric Reid says he’s being targeted for excessive drug-testing. Now the NFL and players’ union want a report. | State / Region

The NFL and the NFL Players Association have requested a report from the independent administrator of their drug-testing program into the questions raised by Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid about the number of times he has been tested this season.

The league and union have no reason to suspect impropriety but are awaiting the report by John Lombardo, according to people on both sides of the matter with knowledge of the situation.

Lombardo independently oversees the league’s drug-testing programs, which are collectively bargained and jointly administered by the NFL and NFLPA. He has been the administrator of the drug programs for 28 years and can be dismissed by either side.

“Anytime the integrity of the program is questioned, we want to make sure it’s airtight,” said one of those people with knowledge of the matter.

It was not immediately clear when Lombardo’s report will be completed and delivered to the league and union.

The league’s drug policies contain confidentiality provisions, and those people with knowledge of the matter would not speculate on whether the NFL and NFLPA believe that Reid has been tested as many times as he has said he’s been tested.

“We have no control over it and no input into who’s tested,” said one person familiar with the league’s viewpoint. “It is completely random. There has been no issue of targeting here. We did ask Dr. Lombardo to produce a report.”

According to another person with knowledge of the union’s view, the NFLPA will await Lombardo’s report to “make sure” that nothing improper has occurred.

Reid signed with the Panthers during the season. He previously filed a grievance against the NFL and its teams, accusing them of colluding to keep him out of the league. As a member of the San Francisco 49ers, Reid refused to stand for the national anthem before some games, protesting racial inequality and police treatment of African-Americans. Reid protested alongside quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then with the 49ers, during the 2016 season and continued the protests last season while Kaepernick was out of the league.

Kaepernick, who has remained unsigned this season, also has a collusion grievance pending.

The NFL prevailed in a separate grievance by Reid and the NFLPA accusing the Cincinnati Bengals of acting improperly when they asked Reid during a free agent visit last offseason about the protests. An arbitrator ruled that the Bengals were within their rights and did not violate the collective bargaining agreement.

Reid posted on social media this month that he’d been tested seven times in 11 weeks with the Panthers.

“That has to be statistically impossible,” Reid said, according to video posted by Sports Illustrated. “I’m not a mathematician, but there’s no way that’s random.”

The NFL has two separate drug policies, a substance abuse policy and a policy on banned performance-enhancing substances. Each player faces one mandatory test per year under each policy. In addition, 10 players per team are chosen randomly by computer each week during the preseason, regular season and postseason to be tested under the policy on banned performance-enhancing substances.

“The range of testing (to which a given player is subjected during a season) varies pretty widely,” said one person with knowledge of the situation.

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