Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams, who is embroiled in a legal fight with the NFL over his looming six-game suspension for violating the league’s policies against banned substances, is accused of repeatedly attempting to cheat the drug testing system.
“The evidence is clear,” hearing officer Harold Henderson wrote, according to documents obtained by the Denver Post, “that Williams was involved in three separate incidents of attempted substitution of a specimen.”
According to the NFL’s version of events, Williams provided urine samples in August and September that the drug-testing lab concluded were something other than human urine. And in an incident in November, Williams was accused by the specimen collector of having a bottle near his waist while submitting the test, perhaps to pour clean urine from someone else into his sample. Williams then refused to give the tester the bottle.
In that incident, the collector said he saw Williams drop the bottle while submitting his urine sample. According to the collector, Williams then kicked the bottle into an area of the Broncos’ locker room where drug testers were not allowed to go. When the tester asked a trainer to go into the locker room and get the bottle, the trainer and Williams returned from the locker room with a different bottle. (Williams claims the bottle contained something legal that he uses for energy and it fell from his pocket during the test, and that he kicked it into the locker room accidentally.)
If Williams was attempting to put something other than his own urine in his sample, he wouldn’t be the first NFL player to do so. Most famously, former Vikings running back Onterrio Smith, who was banned by the NFL for repeated violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy, was once caught with dried urine and a Whizzinator.
Obviously, urine testing only works if players are submitting their own urine. If Williams tried to manipulate three drug tests, the NFL is right to treat him as though he tested positive on three drug tests.