Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik responded boldly Sunday to a report that the NFL Players Association wants the NFL to join its investigation into whether Bucs coach Greg Schiano leaked information regarding former quarterback Josh Freeman’s status in the NFL’s substance-abuse program.

“We’re not afraid of an investigation’’ Dominik said. “We would welcome it.’’

Dominik’s comments came a day after USAToday.com published a report saying the NFLPA discovered through its own investigation that Schiano might have told other Bucs players about Freeman’s status in the drug program. The NFLPA according to the story wants the NFL to help confirm its findings.

The NFLPA is seeking a joint investigation into the matter because that would allow union officials to question Schiano and other Bucs team officials they normally would not be allowed to interview.

The NFL responded early Sunday with a statement:

“We take the confidentiality provision of the policy as seriously as the union and will vigorously pursue any leads the union provides. However such information should be shared confidentially with our office rather than inappropriately leaked to the media before the investigation has been concluded into the matter.’’

According to the USAToday.com report the NFLPA learned through its own investigation that Schiano discussed Freeman’s status in the NFL drug program with other Bucs players before Freeman was released by the team on Oct. 3.