More than three years after Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams (pictured), Saints defensive end Will Smith, free-agent defensive tackle Pat Williams, and free-agent defensive end Charles Grant tested positive for a banned diuretic after taking an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement that had been spiked with it, the four players have been officially suspended.
Per Albert Breer of NFL Network, each player has been suspended two games and fined another two game checks.
It was believed that the discipline had been delayed by the unsettled negotiations regarding the league’s drug-testing policies, which have bogged down as to the issue of HGH testing. The shortened suspensions comport with the Word Anti-Doping Agency’s standards regarding the use of diuretics.
It means that the Vikings won’t have Kevin Williams for Week One at San Diego or Week Two against Tampa. And the Saints won’t have Smith for Thursday night’s season debut at Green Bay, or for the following weekend’s game home opener against the Bears.
Under the procedures used by the league in recent years, Pat Williams and Charles Grant can serve their suspensions while unsigned.
The suspensions were delayed due to litigation filed initially by all four players. Eventually, Pat and Kevin Williams were able to fashion theories under Minnesota law that blocked the suspensions pending the resolution of their lawsuit. The league opted not to impose the suspensions against Smith and Grant while the Williams case proceeded.