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Adolpho Birch explains inconsistent treatment of StarCaps users

One of the more troubling aspects of the slowly-unfolding StarCaps trial is that the NFL has admitted that others who tested positive for the banned substance that secretly had been added to the over-the-counter supplement were not punished.

On Thursday, NFL V.P. of labor law and policy Adolpho Birch testified that Dr. John Lombardo should have subjected all persons who tested positive to discipline, and that Birch set Lombardo straight on this matter in December 2006.

“I was telling him that the policy as it relates to
supplements, matters of inadvertent use are violations and subject to
suspensions and must be referred,” Birch said, according to Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Regardless of the given reason, the fact remains that players were treated differently.  The reality of inconsistent treatment prompted the league to decide during the 2009 season not to suspend Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith for the same offense, despite obtaining full legal clearance to do so.  So if the league was concerned about the perception of inequity then, the league also should have been concerned about the reality of inequity when abruptly changing course regarding its approach to StarCaps — especially since the league gave no one a clear warning regarding the fact that the product had been spiked with a prescription medication.

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15 Responses to “Adolpho Birch explains inconsistent treatment of StarCaps users”
  1. lunds007 says: Mar 11, 2010 3:44 PM

    TRIX are for kids you silly Rabbit (NFL). What a giant waste of Money for the NFL. Obviously these players were just trying to lose some poundage, not cover up Roids. They should of just Fined the players and notified all players that StarCaps was now illegal. Such a big deal out of nothing.
    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!

  2. CdnMike says: Mar 11, 2010 3:56 PM

    Yeah I agree lunds.
    The NFL looks like a spoiled rich kid in this case. I want a Golden Goose now daddy, not when we get home, NOW!!
    Shutup Veruka…. I mean NFL.

  3. MrHumble says: Mar 11, 2010 4:03 PM

    The NFL “hates to lose” but they are really barking up the wrong tree on this one. It’s rather obvious that none of the players involved are dealing with ‘roids, then the NFL should’ve just slapped their wrists or something but this has just got crazy. This could result in the NFL ultimately losing their anti-trust status and for what, a few guys who were just trying to make weight. It would serve the NFL right to win the battle and lose the war on this one.

  4. ndnvikingsfan says: Mar 11, 2010 4:15 PM

    I wonder could the Williams, if they lose this lawsuit, take this to a higher court and may be even sue the NFL for their inconsistencies?

  5. Child_Please! says: Mar 11, 2010 4:29 PM

    Come on, its no secret why the NFL wanted to discipline Grant, Smith, and the Williams wall but they did not discipline “others”.
    The “others” obviously played for the Cheatriots.
    Example:
    Nick Kaczur gets popped with hundreds of Oxycontin pills with no prescription. Turns snitch for the government, and Mr. “Fair and Consistent” Goodell does absolutely NOTHING?
    Example 2:
    Mr. “protect the integrity of the league” Goodell
    Destroyed all the tapes of cheating by the Patriots. Why so quickly? Tried his best to sweep the scandal under the rug.
    Please, if you play for the Cheatriots, the league looks the other way in regards to cheating, and doping. Yet drops the hammer on everybody else.

  6. Scotsman says: Mar 11, 2010 4:34 PM

    Sorry Lunds and cdnmike—I don’t at all agree about paying a Fine. These guys did nothing wrong. Paying a fine is just another form of admission of guilt. I hope this judge just hammers Goodell and the NFL for their Bullshit behavior. If these guys took roids, thats one thing. But they didn’t. Go Vikes———————————-The Scotsman!

  7. GirthyOne says: Mar 11, 2010 4:40 PM

    10,000 pound gorilla is going to get beat on this one. Little scare to see some of the facts that have come out of this. NFL, WTF?

  8. seatofmypants says: Mar 11, 2010 4:46 PM

    Who says it is obvious that none of the players are dealing with roids?
    Ultimately the league is not responsible for what its players put in their bodies, the players are.
    Taking any supplement has risks.

  9. jebdamone says: Mar 11, 2010 5:02 PM

    the nfl should have just sucked this one up from the beginning…a judgment on this case is just going to make things worse for them.

  10. SayItAin'tSoFlorio says: Mar 11, 2010 5:20 PM

    Mike, can you please clarify this? I thought the reason the NFL decided not to suspend Charles Grant and Will Smith (also Deuce McAllister) was because the league considered it to be an unfair advantage to the Vikings. Since, according to Minnesota state law, the NFL was prohibited from suspending Kevin and Pat Williams, the league decided not to suspend any other players that had tested positive.

  11. Norseman says: Mar 11, 2010 5:45 PM

    The NFL knew Starcaps contained the banned substance, but took the position that it wasn’t their responsibility to inform players. If certain substances are banned, the NFL should publish a list annually and provide copies to all owners, teams, coaches, trainers, and players. The list should be distributed to players by coaches and trainers and posted prominently in each locker-room and training room.
    If you want to keep the players clean, then clearly and unambiguously tell them what they can’t take. They tell them quite clearly they can’t take steroids, smoke weed, use illegal narcotics, etc.
    All this wasted time and money over an easily avoidable problem.

  12. Percy Nugz says: Mar 11, 2010 5:55 PM

    The Williamses have one hell of a lawyer. I can’t imagine how much they have paid in lawyer fees. Is the players union helping these guys out? Or are they leading this righteous crusade against the NFL on their own?

  13. CajunRazorback says: Mar 11, 2010 6:10 PM

    Looks to me like ole Adolpho is scrambling to cover his rear and trying to put the blame on Dr. Lombordo. I love it when the NFL suits start trying to eat their own to survive. Hopefully the comish will clean house in the executive offices. These two really screwed up things for the league office in this case.

  14. sand0 says: Mar 11, 2010 6:42 PM

    Personally I don’t feel like the Williamses deserve to be suspended over this. It was a stupid technicality over extremely small trace amounts of a chemical that did not appear in an over the counter supplement ingredient list.
    Before this started I didn’t feel like the NFL deserved any punishment either. They made a system to try to protect the players and their sport from roid mania. But as they drag this thing out and we find out more and more facts I start to wonder.
    Changing the failure criteria mid stride without telling anyone. Not disclosing their knowledge of what dangerous ingredient Starcaps contained despite their knowing players took it. Violating MN State Law dealing with suspension. Frivolous appeals. Violating laws regarding privacy.
    The more and more this drags out the more I think the NFL needs its ass kicked on this one.

  15. bluestree says: Mar 11, 2010 6:48 PM

    “If certain substances are banned, the NFL should publish a list annually and provide copies to all owners, teams, coaches, trainers, and players. ”
    The NFL provideds a list of approved supplements made by EAS. If you deviate from the list you are taking your chances. It would do no good to try to put out a list of banned substances. As this case shows, stuff can be spiked and if the league approved something, the manufacturer could make a fortune by spiking the product and using a whisper campaign to let the players know. What I’m curious about is why? Not why didn’t they blow the whistle on StarCaps, but why did some players get a pass? That is disturbing. Please don’t give me the conspiracy theory crap about the league favors certain teams. Yes there is some favoritism and league politics, but if this was about letting guys from certain teams skate, then the game we all love is bullshit, and I’m not buying that. Incompetence, or is someone on a fishing trip?

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