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Former Portland Thorns trainer apologizes for giving codeine to players

Pierre Soubrier gave players a medication containing codeine without a prescription, and in one case, it was done without the player's informed consent.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The former Portland Thorns athletic trainer who was dismissed last week after a league investigation determined he distributed a controlled substance to players has apologized.

Pierre Soubrier, who is married to U.S. national team defender Crystal Dunn, was among three people disciplined last week as the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) continues to address a misconduct scandal stretching back to 2021.

The Thorns team physician reported in November that Soubrier had given players a medication containing codeine without a prescription. The investigation also found he "administered the medication to one of the players without her informed consent."

Soubrier was placed on leave in December and later dismissed by the team. In a statement Thursday on social media, he said he was holding himself accountable.

"I want to unequivocally apologize to those involved, directly and indirectly. I especially apologize for putting a plyer in that situation. It was never my inclination to do so. I apologize to my former club and the league as well," he wrote. "This was not good enough and I will be better. I pledge that nothing like this will ever happen again."

The Thorns also fired assistant coach Sophie Clough last week in a separate NWSL investigation. The Thorns reported to the league in November that a player said Clough had made her uncomfortable by kissing her neck during the team's championship celebration in Washington, D.C. The claims were substantiated and were a violation of league policy, the NWSL said. 

Both investigations into Soubrier and Clough were unrelated to a broader NWSL misconduct investigation last year that heavily faulted the Thorns for the club's handling of abuse allegations against former head coach Paul Riley, among other problems

The investigation led to the firings of former general manager Gavin Wilkinson and former president of business Mike Golub, and prompted owner Merritt Paulson to step down as CEO of the Thorns and Timbers and pledge that he would sell the Thorns.


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