Use of Masking Agents Shouldn’t Be a Surprise In Sports’ Circles

By Gregory Moore
Updated: April 4, 2008

Ricky WilliamsSAN ANTONIO, TX. — There are numerous products out there that allow marijuana users to hide the drug in the current drug testing procedures. There are shampoos, shakes, tablets urine additives and even a simple herb called Golden Seal. All of these products are available at your local naturalist store from Sun Harvest and GNC to online websites like or Ricky Williams, the now former Miami Dolphins running back, told newspaper reporters that he used such agents to hide his habitual use of marijuana and he has claimed other NFL players are doing the same thing.

That accusation wouldn’t be surprising to anyone who has had any knowledge of what athletes will do to hide something that they know is illegal and against league rules. Marijuana is a banned substance in all four major sports leagues in this country as is other drugs such as opiates, hallucinogens and illegal substances as defined by both the leagues and the criminal court systems. So why is it so hard for the NFL and the other leagues to catch these athletes in the act? Because there is no test for these products. These natural herbal supplements are also not illegal to use in most states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Oregon are the only states because of their drug testing policies that favor employees).

Williams’s statements should be sounding an alarm at the NFL offices. Gene Upshaw should be going to Paul Tagliabue’s office and saying, “I am embarrassed and distancing myself” for how his union has allowed an employer to not ensure that their employees are on the up and up.

However this is just a micro chasm as to how the rest of society operates. Athletes are only mimicking what they see in the real world. Pilots, lawyers, day laborers and criminals are going over to these naturalist shops and purchasing these drug detoxification products and using them to hide their illegal use of marijuana from their employers or their probation/parole officers so why should we be so surprised that athletes like Williams are doing the same thing? We shouldn’t be surprised at all.

Currently there are no tests that can be administered and if there were, drug users could find a way around that as well. It’s a game of cat and mouse and right now the mouse is winning the game. Just ask Ricky Williams. He’ll tell you so.