A former assistant general surgeon for the NFL is being investigated by the league for allegedly using data from his own hospital to create a false impression of the extent of the concussions suffered by players, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.
The two sources spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
The NFL and Dr. David Thorpe have not immediately responded to requests for comment.
The New York Times first reported the allegations on Monday.
The newspaper cited a source close to the investigation, who said Thorpe was fired in October by the NFL and placed on leave.
A league spokesperson declined to comment.
Thorpe, who has worked for the league since 2000, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from ESPN.
The league declined to make Thorpe available for comment on Monday, citing the ongoing investigation.
A doctor at the University of Minnesota Hospital in St. Paul was also involved in the alleged scheme, according a person familiar with its investigation.
A person familiar also confirmed to ESPN that Thorpe has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“The University of Minnesotas medical staff has investigated a potential violation of league rules,” a university spokesperson said in a statement.
“The University has suspended the physician, who is a member of the team, and placed him on paid leave pending an investigation.
We will not comment further until we have received all relevant facts and are able to provide additional information.”
Thorpe is the latest doctor to be accused of using data generated by the University Health Network, the network established by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The hospital, which provides care to thousands of former and current military and veterans, said in November that it had been conducting its own investigation into the issue and that Thor, who was a member the hospital’s medical staff from 2010 to 2015, had been placed in administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation and an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Thor’s attorney, James E. Lafferty, told ESPN he is “thrilled” to learn that the league has opened an investigation and is “working to bring to justice those who are responsible for Dr. Thorpe’s illegal and unethical behavior.”
Thor is one of five doctors who have been implicated in data manipulation or misconduct by the network.
Three other doctors, including former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, were also investigated by U.K. and U.A.E. regulators in 2015 and 2016 for their roles in manipulating and falsifying data in the NFL’s concussion database.