The “Whizzinator” and Drug Masking Devices

Minnesota airport security caught Viking running back Onterrio Smith with a device called the Whizzinator, along with white powder reported to be dehydrated urine. The device, which comes in five skin tones, is marketed as “an easy to conceal, easy to use urinating device with a very realistic prosthetic penis. The ready availability of the device and its connection to a professional athlete has prompted debate over the effectiveness of current drug testing protocols. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted an investigation into the availablity of methods and devices to avoid positive drug tests. The report, released as testimony to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, suggests widespread availability of these “drug masking products.” The report correctly points out that under federal law, it is unlawful for any person to sell drug paraphernalia, which is defined to include any equipment, product, or material, primarily intended or designed for use in concealing a controlled substance (21 U.S.C. – 863). However, the applicability of this statute is likely misplaced, as its “concealing” language was intended to address containers in which to physically hide drugs, not devices to mask or remove the presence of chemical metabolites in urine. As the House considers new legislation to ban the products, three manufacturers and sellers invoked the Fifth Amendment at congressional hearings on Tuesday.