NFLPA to file suit to overturn suspensions related to diuretic

Updated: December 4, 2008, 9:35 AM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN.com

The NFL Players Association will file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Thursday, seeking to overturn all suspensions issued Tuesday by the league for any player who took the supplement identified as StarCaps that triggered several positive tests for the banned diuretic Bumetanide, union sources said.

The action will ask the federal court for a ruling by Friday, the sources said.

The suit is to be filed before U.S. District judge David Doty, who has had jurisdiction over NFL labor matters since the 1992 lawsuit that finally settled the 1987 strike by the union.

Williamses' legal document

View the complete legal filing in the case of Kevin and Patrick Williams vs. the NFL over the players' suspension from the league. PDF

The basis for the union's action is founded on many of the same arguments that resulted in a temporary restraining order issued in a Minneapolis state district court on Wednesday that will allow Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams to return to the team after they were suspended for a mandatory four games in Tuesday's action.

Players who were suspended included both Vikings players, as well as Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant of the Saints and Bryan Pittman of the Texans. Pittman did not use StarCaps but tested positive for a banned diuretic that he claims was prescribed by a physician.

The NFLPA's suit may seek retroactive pay for any player who already as served a suspension in which StarCaps was the product in question. The union, as Williams' legal team argued Wednesday in court, will cite that the NFL improperly administered the policy for steroids and performance-enhancing drugs by failing to notify players that it had specific knowledge since late 2006 that StarCaps contained the banned diuretic.

The legal brief filed on behalf of Kevin and Pat Williams also claimed that a politically charged climate contributed to the league's negligent action.

Chris Mortensen is a senior NFL analyst for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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