An NWSL athletic trainer gave players drugs he wasn't eligible to prescribe, including giving one opiates without her 'informed consent'
- An investigation found that an NWSL athletic trainer illegally administered opiates to players.
- Former Portland Thorns trainer Pierre Soubrier gave at least one player codeine without "informed consent."
A National Women's Soccer League athletic trainer was found to have given opiates to athletes in his care without proper authorization.
Pierre Soubrier was dismissed from the Portland Thorns' medical staff as the club's head athletic trainer Tuesday, after admitting he gave several players a controlled substance — codeine — without the required prescription from a doctor. In one instance, he administered the pain reliever without "informed consent" from the player he was treating.
The NWSL first became aware of Soubrier's misconduct from Thorns leadership after team physician Dr. Breanne Brown reported concerns about player safety to the club's general manager. Brown recalled that Soubrier "told her he had given two players a medication that contained codeine" during Portland's semifinal matchup in late October.
She also reported concerns about her own conduct, as she once granted Soubrier permission to administer a controlled substance to a player upon his request. Brown quickly "became uncomfortable with this decision and promptly communicated to Soubrier that it should not be administered."
The NWSL hired a third-party investigator upon learning of Brown's report in late November. And on Tuesday — two months later — the league published findings that substantiated "the concerns about Soubrier."
"Soubrier was found to have administered the controlled substance to the players on multiple occasions without a prescription and physician supervision, which is a violation of federal and state laws and league policy," the results of the investigation state. "The NWSL has suspended Soubrier from the league without pay immediately through the conclusion of the 2023 season. The league will also report Soubrier to the Oregon Board of Athletic Trainers (Oregon Board) and the Board of Certification (BOC)."
Portland fired Soubrier — whose wife, Crystal Dunn, is one of the club's top stars — "upon receiving the NWSL's final investigative findings," a representative for the Thorns said in a statement to Insider. The franchise did not confirm whether Soubrier will be permitted to attend games or be present at Portland's facilities given his wife's status as an active player.
Dunn has not issued a public statement about the investigation into her husband.
Soubrier is not the only Thorns employee named in the most recent NWSL investigations. Former Portland assistant coach Sophie Clough was found to have "made a player feel uncomfortable by kissing her neck at the team's championship celebration" in November.
She, too, was terminated by the Thorns after completion of the investigation. Subject to acknowledging wrongdoing and, in Soubrier's case, maintaining his athletic training license, both he and Clough are "eligible for future employment in the league at the Commissioner's discretion."
A separate investigation into the Washington Spirit found that former head coach Kris Ward engaged in "overly aggressive behavior and harassment through negative racial stereotyping towards a player." The Spirit fired Ward in August, and his return to the league will also be contingent upon approval from the commissioner, among other factors.
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