NFL Players Banned for Remainder of Season
6 players from the NFL were banned from their final 4 games of the season because they tested positive for diuretics, a steroid masking agent. They will be allowed to re-join their team if they make the playoffs but until than they will be sidelined. The players involved are as follows: Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings; Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints; and Bryan Pittman of the Houston Texans. Grady Jackson of the Atlanta Falcons has also tested positive but is under further investigation.
At least some of the players took an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement, marketed under the name StarCaps, that contained the banned diuretic bumetanide, which did not appear on the product’s label. The N.F.L. has warned players about using unapproved supplements, and has long held that players are responsible for what they put in their bodies.
In the announcement of the suspensions, the N.F.L. said that the steroid program’s independent administrator, Dr. John Lombardo, sent notifications in December 2006 mentioning StarCaps to the front offices and trainers for teams, and to the players union telling them that the company that distributes StarCaps had been added to the list of prohibited dietary supplement companies.