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What is a PED test in the NFL after Odell Beckham Jr gets hit with one?

Joshua Rogers January 20, 2022
what is a ped pest test in nfl football
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After Odell Beckham Jr revealed he’d been hit with a drug test after beating Arizona, we explore what a PED/PES test in the NFL entails.

Odell Beckham Jr is enjoying life in LA, starring in the Rams’ 34-11 win over the Cardinals on Monday night. The wide receiver had a tumultuous time in Cleveland, but looks to have found his feet under Sean McVay.

OBJ arguably had his best game for the Rams recently. He caught four passes for 54 yards and a touchdown while also completing a 40-yard pass in the statement victory.

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Odell Beckham Jr hit with drug test after Cardinals win

OBJ can be rightly proud of his performance but was brought back down to earth when he found out the NFL had selected him to have a drug test at the team’s facility on Wednesday. Beckham revealed the news on Instagram, sharing a photo of himself celebrating a touchdown vs Arizona with the message he received from the league:

What is a PES/PED test in the NFL?

A PES (performance-enhancing supplements) or PED (performance-enhancing drugs) test in the NFL is common. They are there to protect the integrity of the game so no athlete can seek to gain an unfair advantage.

The NFL’s PED policy prohibits the use of anabolic or androgenic steroids, as well as stimulants and human/animal growth hormones. Most PED/PES tests come in the form of urine samples and can occur randomly or via scheduling.

According to Cleveland.com: “There are roughly 18,000 PED tests given each year with 10,000 of those being given to players who are randomly selected. The other 8,000 tests aren’t so random and are given to players in the league’s ‘Reasonable Cause’ testing programme. Basically, if a player has tested positive for a PED before, he’s likely to be subject to more testing.”

There are various penalties for failing a PED/PES test in the NFL, ranging from a six-game suspension without pay to a season-long suspension, depending on how many times an athlete has failed a test.

Odell Beckham Jr has complained before about testing

It’s not uncommon for the NFL to test players after they’ve had stellar performances. Pat McAfee, Julian Blackmon, Le’Veon Bell, and Eric Reid are among many stars who have felt they were being unfairly targeted for drug tests.

In 2019, when he was with Cleveland, OBJ complained about being subjected to two random PED tests in the space of five days.

“(The NFL) made me come in Monday when we had an off-day. Had a drug test,” Beckham told Cleveland.com. “Made me come in Thursday after the game. Had another drug test.

“Nobody is getting tested like me. I know people who didn’t get tested for five months in the off-season and I’m getting tested every time.”

Going off his latest Instagram post, it seems OBJ is taking the NFL’s policy with a pinch of salt these days.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.