MINNEAPOLIS -- The NFL has lost a last-minute bid to have a federal court hear a lawsuit by two Minnesota Vikings facing suspension for using a banned substance.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson on Thursday denied the league's request to move the lawsuit filed by defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams out of state court, where a trial is to begin Monday.
In his order, Magnuson said the NFL's request "seems calculated only to avoid trial" and "borders on abuse of process."
The Williamses -- who are not related -- tested positive in 2008 for the banned substance bumetanide, a diuretic that can mask the presence of steroids. They are not accused of taking steroids. They sued the NFL, arguing the league's testing violated Minnesota labor law.
Last May, Magnuson sent claims involving Minnesota law back to state court. An NFL attorney didn't immediately return a call.