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Willams’ Await Decision on Motion Heard in StarCaps Case

NFL Suspensions Williamses Football
The Minneapolis St. Paul Tribune reports that the case involving Kevin and Pat Williams concerning the positive testing for a banned diuretic could be decided as soon as today. The two NFL players aptly nicknamed “The Williams Wall “ anchor the leagues best run defense for the Minnesota Vikings.

Originally, a court date of June 15 was issued to appeal the decision to suspend the two players for the first four games of the upcoming season, but a motion for summary judgment was heard on Weds.

Essentially, U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson is currently mulling over the arguments of both sides in order to arrive at a conclusion in this case. If he decides there are enough key facts that are not in dispute, then the case could be dismissed.

The controversy surrounds the positive random drug test administered by the NFL for the banned diuretic bumetanide, which is contained in the supplement “StarCaps” and can be used as a masking agent for steroids. Bumetanide was not listed as an ingredient on the StarCaps label and the players argue that the NFL did not properly inform players.

The Williamses were granted an injunction in December, allowing them to finish the season. They are seeking up to $10 million in damages as well as having their four-game suspensions overturned.

In court filings the Williamses admitted taking the diuretic to help them make a prescribed weight because both had weight clauses in their contracts.

The attorneys for the Williamses said that new evidence shows a hot line for players to get information on such issues gave out false information about the supplement, and told players it was not banned.

Attorneys for the NFL disputed that Thursday in U.S. District Court, saying operators warned players against taking any supplements, stating that players are ultimately responsible for what they put into their own bodies..

“There is no question here, they were warned,” said Daniel Nash, an attorney for the National Football League.

According to court documents, neither player had any trace of steroids in their systems.

The plaintiffs argued doctors and officials involved with the league’s anti-doping policy had a duty to tell players about StarCaps. They also suggested officials had a duty to tell the FDA, and that the players’ safety was at risk.

In another related development, it was discovered on Thursday that eight other NFL players between 2005 and 2007 tested positive for the same banned substance for which Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams were suspended but none were punished, a players association lawyer told a federal judge in St. Paul.

“This is a situation in which the NFL simply failed to live up to its obligations,” Peter Ginsberg, an attorney for the Williamses, said after Thursday’s hearing.

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