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Court sides with NFL in StarCaps case

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By PFW staff

A court ruling in Minnesota might mean suspensions could be on the way for three NFL players.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the ruling of a lower court in the state, according to NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello, which could mean that Vikings DTs Pat Williams and Kevin Williams, along with Saints DE Will Smith, will face suspension for failing a drug test in December 2008.

The drug in question is a supplement called StarCaps, which is a weight-loss supplement that includes a banned diuretic, which is a masking agent for steroids. The three players, along with several others who are no longer in the league, were suspended for four games by the NFL following their positive test three years ago. The two Vikings players filed a lawsuit saying they did not know the pills they were taking included the illegal substance.

The league allowed the players to play throughout the court appeal, along with Smith, who was facing the same punishment but is not involved in the lawsuit.

The NFL issued a statement Tuesday afternoon on the ruling: "We are pleased that the Minnesota Court of Appeals, like all other federal & state courts to hear the matter, has unanimously upheld the structure & operation of the NFL's collectively bargained Policy on Steroids & Related Substances. Today's opinion confirms the testing program did not violate Minnesota state law & vindicates the policy & procedures of the program. We are in the process of reviewing the decision and determining our next steps." 

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