The NFL has once again thwarted a lawsuit brought by former players who claim they were inappropriately administered painkillers during their playing days to keep them on the field.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California found that the former players couldn’t support their claims that the league was negligent—the sole remaining claim in the case after nearly five years of litigation. Alsup found that the athletes hadn’t alleged the NFL itself distributed prescription medications in violation of state and federal drug laws.

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