Dolphin won't say if he again violated policy

Updated: July 25, 2004, 1:41 AM ET
Associated Press

DAVIE, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams refused Tuesday to discuss whether he violated the NFL's substance-abuse policy a second time by using marijuana.

"No one in the NFL can talk about anything regarding the substance-abuse program," Williams said during a media availability before the team began a three-day quarterback school at its practice facility. "League-wide, it's a confidentiality thing. ... I'm here to answer questions about football."

Ricky Williams

Three South Florida newspapers quoted unidentified sources last week saying Williams tested positive for marijuana and faced a fine of at least $650,000 for violating the substance-abuse policy for the second time since joining the Dolphins in 2002.

"We're going to handle it," Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler said. "Ricky's going to handle it through the right channels, through the NFL, and we'll go from there. He's still a big part of this team. Nothing's changed in our view of Ricky."

Gary Ostrow, Williams' Fort Lauderdale-based attorney, has called media reports about the alleged positive test "slanted" and "one-dimensional," and told The Associated Press on Saturday that Williams was eager to "set the record straight."

"As far as I'm concerned, there is no violation," Ostrow said Tuesday.

Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt declined to address the issue, and team owner Wayne Huizenga said he had no knowledge of anything involving Williams.

"We don't know what's happening yet," Huizenga said. "I think it's too soon to make any statements. When it comes to Ricky, we'll have to wait and see what happens."

Williams told The Palm Beach Post last week that he visited NFL headquarters in New York a few weeks ago, but wouldn't give details when questioned during a media availability Tuesday.

Under league rules, a player who tests positive twice is fined the value equal to his pay for four games. According to salary data released by the NFL Players Association, that would cost Williams $878,823.53.

A player who tests positive a third time is given at least a four-game suspension. A player who tests positive a fourth time is suspended for at least a season. The NFL announces only suspensions, not drug-related fines.

In two seasons with Miami, Williams has run for 3,235 yards and 25 touchdowns, although his per-game yardage average fell 30 yards last season from the 115.8-a-game clip that carried him to the NFL rushing title in 2002.

When asked Tuesday about how the reports of a possible positive test may affect his image, Williams simply said people "can judge for themselves."

"I can't tell anyone about myself," Williams said. "They just have to look at the way I carry myself, look at the way I play the game, look at the way I practice and what I do in the community."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press