February 18, 2010

Starcaps ruling in Minnesota expected

A ruling on the Starcaps case is expected Thursday in state court in Minnesota.

Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson will decide whether or not two Vikings players, defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, can proceed with a suit against the NFL to challenge the league's suspension of the players over bumetanide.

Bumetanide, a weight-loss substance banned by the league, was found in a commercial product called Starcaps, which was cleared by the league's drug testing authority. Five players have four game Starcaps-related suspensions hanging over their heads: the Williamses in Minnesota, Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith, and retired RB Deuce McAllister.

The lawsuit in Minnesota resulted in the judge barring the NFL from prohibiting the Vikings players, based on labor law regarding drug testing. The ruling last September did not shield the Saints players, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell declined to enforce the suspensions on Grant and Smith in the interest of fairness.

Tomorrow's decision could end the legal shield to the suspensions.

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