How Lamar Odom Passed Drug Tests While on Drugs
No one could accuse former NBA star and Kardashian in-law Lamar Odom of having a boring life. The theme of Odom’s 2019 memoir, Darkness to Light, is the ex-athlete’s journey through drug and sex addiction to a healthier lifestyle. In 2015, Odom suffered a near-fatal overdose from multiple drugs while enjoying a five-day holiday at the world-famous Love Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada. In his book, Odom says that drugs and sex both threatened his life and caused long-term damage to his relationships.
Odom’s problems with sex and drugs continued throughout his career. In 2004, he was playing for the Miami Heat, living in Los Angeles, and was thrilled to learn he was chosen for the USA Olympic team. His joy faded when team officials told him that he would have to undergo a drug test.
Odom and his trainer started searching online for how to beat a drug test. What did they find? Odom writes in his memoir, “After an exhaustive search we ordered a giant, rubber, black [expletive] to arrive the next day.”
How did the prosthetic work to fool the drug test?
Odom explained exactly how the device worked. It was a large, hollow rubber penis with a urine reservoir in its testicles. He could also strap it on and wear it over his own penis underneath his pants.
When it was time for the test, his trainer urinated into the device, which Odom then strapped on. After the trainer left the bathroom, the test official actually stayed and watched head on, from just two feet away, while Odom “urinated” from the fake penis. The official took the temperature of the urine, which is ordinarily a sure fire way to catch someone who brings in another person’s urine.
In case you are new to this topic, you should know that it is extremely difficult to keep urine at the temperature required to submit for a drug test. However, Odom’s specimen met the drug testing standard of between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to a battery pack hidden in the waistband of the jock strap that held the prosthetic. Sure enough, Odom passed the test and played on the team.
The drug test device with a hilarious name: “The Whizzinator”
Lamar Odom was far from the only pro athlete to google something like “how to pass a drug test” and discover “the Whizzinator,” which was clearly advertised as a tool to do just that. In 2005, NFL running back Onterrio Smith was apprehended at the Minneapolis airport with a Whizzinator and vials of fake urine. Smith had already failed two NFL drug tests and claimed the Whizzinator was for his cousin.
Jokes about the device raged among late-night TV comedians for weeks, but Smith’s story didn’t turn out so funny. Without the device, he failed a third drug test and his NFL career was over.
“The Whizzinator” inspires controversy and legal challenges
Odom, Smith, and countless others used “The Whizzinator” during the device’s heyday in the early to mid-2000s. In 2010, the owners of The Whizzinator, Dennis Catalano and Gerald Wills, were convicted of conspiracy “to defraud the U.S. government,” specifically because they promoted the devices ability to help beat a Department of Transportation DOT drug test.
Original Whizzinator owner, Gerald Wills, was still in prison when a California-based company bought the trademark and set up a new website. “The Whizzinator Touch” is still available and comes in five skin colors: white, tan, Latino, brown, and black. Current owners advertise it as a “novelty” item to duplicate human urination.
Do devices like “The Whizzinator” work?
“The Whizzinator” has reportedly undergone some tech changes over the years, but it’s still a male prosthetic with an attached reservoir to hold fake or real “clean” urine, and a battery to keep it at the “correct” temperature. Former World Heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson admitted he used the Whizzinator for all his drug tests. Tyson told ESPN Deportes that he routinely used drug-free urine from his wife and children in the device, but that he preferred his children’s urine after discovering that the drug screen could also say that the donor was pregnant. While that would certainly be a sure sign of fraud, he was probably joking, as drug tests don’t typically double as pregnancy tests. However, there is a known case in which former U.S. college basketball star D.J. Cooper was suspended from European basketball for two years in August 2019 because he used his girlfriend’s urine, and she was pregnant.
Drug testing companies know all about “The Whizzinator” and its knock-offs, and staff are trained on how to detect their attempted usage. In certain clearly defined circumstances, DOT certified drug testing technicians are required to enter the bathroom with the person who is being tested (also known as the “donor”).
The situations in which a drug testing technician will require a donor be directly observed while providing the specimen include:
The procedure for a direct observation of a DOT drug test entails asking the donor to:
The NCAA and other professional sports leagues now often conduct random testing with no notification or wait time provisions. This, of course, makes it harder for athletes to plan ahead and keep a “Whizzinator” on hand for a drug test. The direct observation rules that mimic the DOT drug testing requirements have also cut down on attempted use of devices that can’t be hidden when required to bare the entire mid-section of one’s body and spin around in a 360 degree circle.
Lamar Odom’s confession is just one among hundreds of stories of athletes and others who’ve tried to defeat a drug test. Cheating the test allowed Odom to to the Olympics, but his team turned out to be the only U.S. Olympic basketball team since 1999 to not win a gold medal, losing three games and finishing with a bronze. More tragically, Lamar Odom continues to recover from the devastating stroke he suffered in 2015 while on a five-day spree at a Nevada brothel with multiple drugs including cocaine, heroin, and alcohol.