NFL Players Steroid Use

October 25, 2008

There are as many as ten pending cases for violations of the NFL steroids policy after players tested positive.

New Orleans Saints players Deuce McAllister, Will Smith, and Charles Grant, along with Huston Texans long snapper Bryan Pittman are among those who have tested positive under the NFL steroid policy. Fox-31 in Denver was first to report on the story, saying that from six to ten players have had positive tests. Most of the players have tested positive for the diuretic Bumetanide, a water pill used for weight loss that contains a substance banned by the NFL. Bumetanide reportedly can be used to mask steroid use. According to the NFL steroid policy, a first positive test results in a four-game suspension for the player.

In many of the cases, players were reportedly unaware that the weight loss pill contained a banned substance. The NFL steroid policy, however, holds players responsible for all ingested substances, even if they do so unknowingly. These players may try to negotiate lesser penalties if they can prove the banned substances were not on the diuretics label. Lesser penalties may include increased testing.

Texans Bryan Pittman is appealing the positive test, and has retained attorney David Cornwell. In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, Cornwall said:

“Bryan did everything humanly possible to comply with the NFL steroid policy, including obtaining doctors’ written authorization to take weight-loss medication. He did not use steroids.”

Cornwell, who is also representing other players implemented in the positive tests, also said:

“The recent reports about pending appeals by players who are alleged to have used weight loss supplements reflect the most egregious violation of the NFL steroid policy. The foundation of the policy is both a player’s right to appeal and an absolute right to confidentiality. By leaking this story, the ‘source’ is clearly attempting to put their thumb on the scale of justice and harm these men.”

He has asked the NFL to revoke the “credentials and access to NFL games and other league events” of Fox-31 reporter Josina Anderson, who first broke the story, until she reveals her source.

A spokesman for the New Orleans Saints, who have at least three implemented players, said drug testing is a league matter and would not comment on the story. A spokesman for the NFL said they have no comment as well.

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