NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced that the Minnesota State Court of Appeals has affirmed a lower court’s ruling, denying Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams request for a permanent injunction that would prevent the NFL from suspending them for violating the league’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs.
According to the Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press, the court ruled that:
“Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act does not regulate bumetanide, the prescription drug found in StarCaps, the tainted weight-loss supplement the Williamses used, which means the NFL did not violate state law by trying to discipline them.”
The Williamses are expected to appeal today’s ruling to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Murphy adds.
Today’s ruling also affects New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith and free agent Charles Grant, Smith’s teammate in New Orleans in 2008-09, who were suspended along with the Williamses.
Pat Williams, 38, is unsigned for 2011. Kevin Williams and Smith are both scheduled to earn $6 million base salaries next season. A four-game suspension would cost both players over $1.4 million in base salary.
Overall, six players tested positive for the banned diuretic, including then-Houston Texans long-snapper Bryan Pittman and former Saints guard Jamar Nesbit, who have served their four-game suspensions already.
Nesbit sued the NFL in federal court after losing his starting job to Carl Nicks, a 2010 Pro Bowler, while serving a suspension that was not enforced on other players.