Not much information about what’s going on in New York today in regards to the appeals hearings for Vikings Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams. The two are appealing four-game suspensions for testing positive for a banned diuretic that can serve as a masking agent for steroids.
The Williamses had separate hearings and we know that Kevin went first. That hearing went into the evening. It wouldn’t be surprising if Pat Williams is at the NFL offices with his representation until around 11 p.m. central or later. The Vikings practice at 11:45 a.m. Friday, meaning the Williamses (especially Pat) aren’t going to be getting much rest. It’s likely they will travel back to the Twin Cities on one of owner Zygi Wilf’s private planes. Wilf is attending the hearings, as is Vikings vice president Kevin Warren. The players also are being represented by their agents and attorneys.
It’s not clear if the Williamses will use the same defense as the three New Orleans players who had their hearings this week or if the two Vikings will even have the same defense. Unlike the two Vikings, the Saints players, Deuce McAlister, Will Smith and Charles Grant, all elected to appeal their cases together.
In the case of the Saints, an Associated Press story reported their lawyer said the NFL’s drug administrator acknowledged he did not inform NFL players that the supplement StarCaps contained bumetanide. Attorney David Cornwell said during the appeals that Dr. John Lombardo’s testimony proved none of his clients took steroids. Cornwell said in an e-mail that Lombardo testified he learned in late 2006 that StarCaps contained bumetanide. Lombardo’s reasoning, according to Cornwell, is that ”he feared that a specific warning regarding StarCaps could be used as a defense to alleged violations of the steroid policy that involved weigh reduction products other than StarCaps.”
“If Dr. Lombardo had notified NFL players that StarCaps contained bumetanide, Will, Deuce and Charles would have never used the product to lose weight,” Cornwell said.
It’s never been confirmed officially that the Williamses took StarCaps. Bumetanide can aid in weight loss, but the NFL considers it a masking agent.