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Former players: NFL teams ‘conspired’ to push painkillers

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Hundreds of former players have filed a federal lawsuit claiming all 32 NFL teams, their doctors, trainers and medical staffs obtained and provided painkillers to players — often illegally — as part of a decades-long conspiracy to keep them on the field without regard for their long-term health.

The lawsuit reprises some of the allegations made in a federal lawsuit last year on behalf of 1,300 former players. That complaint was filed in May, 2014 and dismissed in December by Judge William Alsup of the U.S. Northern District in California.

Alsup wrote that the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association was the appropriate forum for such claims. That decision is being appealed.

The lawsuit covers the years 1968-2008.  Among the painkillers were Percodan, Percoet and Vicodin. The drugs were allegedly taken and “handed out like candy at Halloween,” ESPN reports. 

The new lawsuit was filed Thursday in the U.S. Northern District of Maryland.

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