No, Magness should be fine. Here's why:
Steve Magness, while at NOP, was an asst coach and was completing his PhD in sports science or whatever he has it in. He's not a clinical professionalâ€”not an MD or RN. He was an asst coach and all his own involvement in questionable doings at NOP were at the behest of Salazar. And Magness documented that because he came to believe some of Salazar's actions and protocols were shady. That's the info he finally shared with ProPublica and the BBC via David Epstein.
As long as Magness can show he was only following orders, he questioned those which seemed odd, he was reassured those orders were still valid and kosherâ€”then he's in the clear. He wasn't a clinician, so he isn't bound by direct professional ethics to act as his own agent in such matters on a medical level.
In college I worked as a lab tech on clinical drug approval studies. Let's say one of the following things had happened:
1) One of my bossesâ€”MD and PhD docs who ran the studiesâ€”told me to do something unethical and I smelled a rat and documented it and reported. Then, I would be in the clear: I did not act on my own motivation and I did report something that seemed even to lowly little me as wrong.
2) I did somethingâ€”took some shortcut or whatever or manipulated dataâ€”on my own. They find out. Then I would be fired and the bosses would be left in the difficult position of reporting the misdeed to their corporate sponsor who was developing the drug and to the FDA both. The study might be in trouble and maybe even the lead PI (head boss of the study on the science side).
I stress neither case actually happened with me, but it goes to show how things work on this level. If a subordinate is not himself a licensed clinician, his ethical duty and thus his legal responsibility is greatly mitigated and instead reverts back to those who DO have that position. If he messes up, it's on them, but if they mess up, it's not really on him. Same deal with Magness. He had no clinical authority at NOP and he reported to Salazar. He also called things out and documented them. He will not be in much if any trouble.