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NFL suspends 6 players

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NFL suspends 6 players

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:33 pm

from nfl.com


NFL suspends six players for four games each
NFL.com Wire Reports

The NFL suspended six players for four games each without pay on Tuesday for violating the league Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances.

The suspended players are Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints, Bryan Pittman of the Houston Texans, and Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings.

Moments after the NFL suspended six players for violating the league's Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances, Adam Schefter heard reaction from a source close to the situation. More ... All six were punished for using a diuretic, which can serve as a masking agent for steroids. The suspensions cover the final four games of the regular season.

A seventh player, Atlanta's Grady Jackson, was not suspended. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said league chief counsel Jeff Pash had asked for additional information from Jackson.

The punishment is an especially harsh blow to NFC North-leading Vikings, who rely heavily on the two Williamses in their run defense, which ranks second in the league.

Angelo Wright, the Williamses' agent, said he would file a motion in federal court Wednesday morning, presumably to put off the suspensions.

The Vikings lead Chicago by a game in the NFC North with four games left, in large part because the Williamses are considered the NFL's best defensive tackle combination.

Last Sunday, they led a goal-line stand that kept Chicago from taking a 14-3 second-quarter lead in Minneapolis. On the first play after the Bears were stopped, the Vikings' Gus Frerotte threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian, giving Minnesota a 10-7 lead it never lost, a 14-point swing.

"In response to this afternoon’s ruling, the Minnesota Vikings are very disappointed in the National Football League’s decision and suspension of Kevin Williams and Pat Williams," the team said in a statement. "At the appropriate time, we will have further comment."

If the player’s team qualifies for the playoffs, he is eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Dec. 29.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL's vice president of law and labor policy, would not disclose during a conference call when the players tested positive.

Word of the positive test first leaked in late October. Asked why it took until the final four games of the regular season to hand down the suspensions, Birch said it was "a function of a lot of factors."

"I think if you ask most coaches, every game is important. I don't think they'd differentiate between the first and the last," Birch said. "We do have things in place to get them done as quickly as possible. But we had to deal with the number of players involved and adjust travel schedules. We have to fit it around the players' ability to attend."

David Cornwell, the lawyer for Pittman and the three Saints, called the decisions "inconsistent with the objectives of the steroid policy."

"Deuce, Will, and Charles did not try to enhance their performance with steroids, nor did they knowingly expose themselves to the adverse health risks of a diuretic," Cornwell said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "They took a weight loss supplement that they had every reason to believe was safe."

In their appeals, some players said the banned substance Bumetanide was not listed as an ingredient in StarCaps, an over-the-counter weight-loss pill.

In fact, Jackson filed suit against StarCaps in Alameda County Superior Court in California last month, seeking restitution for any lost salary and damages for "false advertising and unfair business practices."

But in issuing the suspensions, the league reiterated the section of its policy that reads:

"You and you alone are responsible for what goes into your body. Claiming that you used only legally available nutritional supplements will not help you in an appeal. ... Even if they are bought over-the-counter from a known establishment, there is currently no way to be sure that they contain the ingredients listed on the packaging or have not been tainted with prohibited substances ...

"If you take these products, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK! For your own health and success in the league, we strongly encourage you to avoid the use of supplements altogether, or at the very least to be extremely careful about what you choose to take."

The NFL also said it sent two notifications about StarCaps on Dec. 19, 2006 -- one to NFL club presidents, general managers and head athletic trainers and the second to NFLPA executive Stacy Robinson, who oversees the steroid policy for the union. That letter, according to the league, advised that StarCaps had been added to the list of prohibited dietary supplement companies.

Asked if the NFL would review its policy on diuretics, Birch said the policy is reviewed every year.

"I suspect the players association may want to look specifically at diuretics or some other issues. We'd be happy to do that with them if appropriate," he said. "I do think it's good policy. It works well. It has different aspects to it, but we will certainly listen with an open mind and if it's appropriate to make change, make changes."

The Associated Press contributed to this report
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Re: NFL suspends 6 players

Post  Big_Pete on Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:35 pm

I think this is a good call, players are responsible for what goes into their bodies.

The NFL needs to get rid of drugs, there is a reason why these things are banned; plus everyone knows it is banned.

It will be tough on both the Saints and Vikings, but you have to wonder whether their strength and conditioning staff (at least) are aware or complicit in this.
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Re: NFL suspends 6 players

Post  56 Crazed Dogs on Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:36 am

It's unbelievable that these players have been gifted with all this talent and yet still don't have the smallest bit of common sense. Rolling Eyes
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