Williamses say they're targeted by NFL

Updated: June 9, 2009, 1:25 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings players Kevin Williams and Pat Williams are being improperly singled out by the NFL for extra steroids testing, their lawyer said Tuesday.

Attorney Peter Ginsberg said he filed papers Monday in Hennepin County District Court asking Judge Gary Larson to say the NFL can't treat the Williamses differently from other players while the long court battle over their suspensions continues.

The Williamses, who are not related, tested positive last summer for a banned drug that can mask the use of steroids. They took the weight-loss supplement StarCaps, which did not list the diuretic bumetanide on the label. The NFL has acknowledged it knew StarCaps contained the banned drug, and the players say the NFL wrongly failed to share that information.

Pat Williams

P. Williams

Kevin Williams

K. Williams

The players were never accused of taking steroids, but the league's policy is that players are responsible for knowing what they're taking. The NFL says it intends to enforce the Williamses' four-game suspensions at the start of the upcoming season, though the players are fighting that.

Ginsberg said the two players are being tested three times per month, "if not more." He said that exceeds the NFL's testing policies.

"It's not being done randomly. Kevin and Pat are being singled out," Ginsberg said.

He said the extra testing amounts to retaliation against the defensive tackles and violates both the NFL's policy against performance-enhancing drugs and state law. He said he is still trying to get the testing records to be sure, but that it appears they have each been tested more than six times since the Pro Bowl in February.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello denied that the league is retaliating against the Williamses, but declined to comment on how often they've been tested.

"We have taken no punitive action against the players," Aiello said.

Under the NFL's steroids policy, players who fail drug tests are subject to ongoing testing.

Last month, a federal judge dismissed most of the Williamses claims against the NFL but sent two remaining claims back to state court. Both the NFL and the NFL Players Association are appealing different parts of that order to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press