Within the past hour, multiple reports surfaced that multiple Broncos will be suspended to start the 2012 season.
One of those Broncos — linebacker D.J. Williams — has issued a statement regarding his six-game suspension.
“I understand from media reports today that the NFL has announced a suspension based on a specimen that the NFL acknowledges did not contain steroids or any illegal substance,” Williams says in a statement forwarded to PFT by his lawyer, Peter Ginsber. “Instead, the NFL contends that I provided a non-human specimen. I have never failed a test of any kind – for steroids or illegal substances – during my eight-year pro career. I am proud of my record and proud of the way in which I conduct myself as a professional athlete and citizen. We proved — conclusively — at the NFL hearing on this matter that the NFL and its specimen collector wholly failed in their duties to safeguard and process my specimen properly. In fact, the specimen collector was fired by the NFL after compromising my specimen as well as others’. The hearing officer, an NFL executive, ignored the NFL’s own Policy, engaged in inappropriate communications with top NFL officials about this matter without my knowledge or approval, corrupted the system, ignored that my specimen had been compromised, and now has subjected me to humiliation as well as suspension. We will be vigorously pursuing my rights in the judicial system. My suspension is unjust; the NFL has undermined and corrupted its own steroid policy.”
Vic Lombardi of CBS4 in Denver has reported that Williams and defensive end Ryan McBean will file suit in federal court. Which means it’ll be time to go back and get reacquainted with the legal principles that ultimately didn’t help a variety of players avoid suspension for taking a supplement that had been tainted with a banned diuretic.
The so-called Starcaps case arose from a claim that the NFL knew that the supplement had been spiked with the banned substance, but that the league failed to advise the NFLPA. This case will turn on Ryan Braun-style claims that the person responsible for collecting the urine mishandled the sample.
Meanwhile, I’ll likely be spending the rest of the night trying to determine whether a “non-human specimen” is the Italian equivalent of E.T.