Rams linebacker David Vobora’s $5.4 million legal victory against a supplement maker on Monday was massive for Vobora financially, but it won’t change his status as a banned substance policy offender in the eyes of the NFL.
We asked the league Monday if the court verdict could alter Vobora’s status and got the following response:
“We have not reviewed the decision but we support the player’s effort and hope that judgments like this will help to curb the activities of supplement manufacturers who would seek to mislead consumers,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said. “But our policy is clear and places strict liability on the player. Players are responsible for what is in their bodies.
“We caution players that supplements are not regulated and what’s on the label may not be accurate. We also have maintained a supplement certification program to ensure players have access to supplements that have been certified by not having banned substances. Players are accountable for any banned substances that may have been taken by mistake.”
The answer is fair and what we expected. Even though Vobora called the NFL banned substance hotline for questions before taking the substance, the policy does not provide wiggle room for supplement company fraud.
The court system is different, which is why Vobora got compensated for being misled regarding the contents of the “Ultimate Spray” manufactured by S.W.A.T.S.
Left unanswered by the league: A question we had regarding Bengals safety Roy Williams telling Yahoo! Sports he took the same substance as Vobora “2-3 times a day.”
How was Williams able to pass his drug tests? No one seems to care, even though S.W.A.T.S was a popular company in league circles. Ray Lewis also reportedly had an extensive relationship with the company and used the same product. Raiders coach Hue Jackson endorsed the company.
Williams’ comments serve to undermine the efficacy of a drug program that has accomplished plenty, but needs to evolve.