Earlier tonight, the lawyer representing the Saints players who, thanks to a pair of Vikings players, have avoided for now a four-game suspension for taking StarCaps, an over-the-counter supplement that had been spiked with Bumetanide, a prescription diuretic and a substance banned by the NFL’s anti-doping policy.
More recently, the lawyer representing the Vikings players has spoken.
“For two years, the NFL did not punish NFL players who were detected with
Bumetanide in their system as a result of taking StarCaps,” said attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents Kevin and Pat Williams. “Then, Commissioner
Goodell arbitrarily changed the NFL’s handling of such cases. While we applaud
the decision not to suspend the Saints players for their use of StarCaps, it is
unfortunate that Commissioner Goodell is still ignoring the injustice he did to
others who took the supplement while the NFL was hiding the fact that the
product contained a potentially lethal substance. Commissioner Goodell’s
decision not to punish the Saints players addresses just the tip of the iceberg
when it comes to the NFL’s manipulation of what should be — and could be — a
constructive steroid program.”
Reached for a response, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello disputed Ginsberg’s contention.
“The key problem with Mr. Ginsberg’s contention is that it ignores the facts, as two federal courts have confirmed,” Aiello said. “Simply put: Nothing was hidden. The union was told about StarCaps and it shared the information the very next day. Players have been warned not to take supplements for years and were specifically warned not to take weight loss supplements like StarCaps. Mr. Ginsberg’s effort to rewrite history does not change those facts.”
So, basically, this controversy is going to continue to percolate. Eventually, a Minnesota court will have to decide whether the suspensions of the Vikings players will be upheld. The outcome will directly affect whether the Saints players are suspended.