Saints running back Deuce McAllister, in a postgame press conference following Sunday’s 37-32 win over the Chargers, acknowledged that he is currently working through a dispute with the league regarding his positive test for violation of the policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances.
We’ve been kind of going through this process for a while,” McAllister said. “I guess you guys just found out about it at this point.  But whatever happens, that’s what’s going to happen.  We’ve hired counsel. He’s going to do his job to kind of put the case together and however the NFL rules, that’s the way it will be.”
Despite the reports of a positive test for Bumetanide, a banned diuretic, McAllister contends that he didn’t violate league rules.
“You hate to put yourself in a situation like this because you not only play by the rules, not only these eight years that I’ve been here in the league but four years of college and four years of high school,” he said. “You always want to play by the rules, and that’s what we’ve tried to do, myself as well as other individuals. . . . We’ve done everything that we were asked to do, that the league has asked us to do.  I mean, that’s what we’ve done.”
McAllister ran for 55 yards against San Diego, and he scored a touchdown. Whether he misses four games due to a confirmed violation of the policy remains to be seen.
“I don’t know how much you guys know,” he said. “My counsel, he will put this case together, but there’s more to the story than just a couple of lines.”
Other names mentioned in connection with the rash of positive results for Bumetanide, which as we understand it only recently landed on the list of prohibited substances, include Saints defensive end Will Smith, Saints defensive end Charles Grants, Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, and Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson.
Bumetanide is used ostensibly to lose weight. The league banned the substance because it can be used to mask the presence of steroids and other drugs.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that several of the players who have tested positive are considering a suit against the manufacturer of “StarCaps,” a weight-loss supplement that allegedly does not disclose on its label the presence of Bumetanide.  A November 2007 entry on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s web site disclosed that Bumetanide was found in the StarCaps product.
The NFL and the NFLPA make available to the players a list of all approved supplements.  When players venture from this list, they do so at their own peril — and they remain at all times responsible for the compounds found in their bodies.
The suspensions, if upheld, would result in the loss of four game checks.  Depending upon the language of the players’ contracts, they also could face the potential forfeiture of signing bonus money and the loss of per-game roster bonuses.  Performance incentives based on playing-time or statistics generated over the course of a full season also would be harder to reach if 25 percent of the season is spent on the reserve/suspended list.
The lawsuit against StarCaps, if filed and if successful, would allow the players to recoup the lost money. 
But it won’t do anything to help teams like the Saints and Vikings get back key players who might miss all or part of the push to the postseason.


  1. The one thing these players all have going for them is that they’re all big guys who ostensibly could have a very good reason to lose weight quickly.

  2. So nowadays players can’t just go to GNC or natural health store or even Walgreens and buy legal products.
    They must go to each product’s website to read the fine print and cross check with the NFL manual on approved substances before taking them.
    All for a product that basically makes players pee more. It’s not like it makes them run faster, be stronger or have any unfair competitive advantage. It’s like me getting in trouble on the job for taking Advil instead of Tylenol.
    If they’re risking a 4-game suspension, may as well take the full-strength anabolic steroids. At least then will the reward match the punishment.
    And if the NFL is hypocritical in it’s list of banned substances. If the league was truly trying to take away all medically generated competitive advantages, why not ban pain killers and cortisone shots? That allows players to numb pain so they can perform with injuries. Isn’t that cheating more than taking a diuretic to temporarily lose weight?

  3. During the Saints/Chargers game, Phil Simms said that Deuce told him that he sent the drug that he tested positive for to the NFL years ago and they said it was OK for him to take. I hope he kept a record of this.

  4. I’m a pharmacist, and Bumetanide (Bumex Brand) is a potent diuretic, ONLY available in the USA by prescription. “IF” it is in an OTC “supplement” the company involved won’t need to worry about a lawsuit from the player’s, they will be getting a visit from the FDA, and probably the DEA and FBI, with the company heads being fitted with orange jumpsuits. And since there is a list of banned substances, and your million dollar paycheck requires you to abide by the rules, you should check with the team if you should put anything in your body. Ignorance is not an argument.

  5. It would seem there could be a very simple solution to this problem. The NFL should set up a testing program where supplements are analyzed and if they contain none of the banned substances, they are on the Approved List. Said list would then be posted on each player’s locker, in the weight room, training room, and mailed to their homes.
    Then, if the supplement is not on the Approved List, you don’t take it. If you take a supplement that is not on the Approved List and it later turns out to contain banned ingredients, then Tuffsky-Shitsky as the Russians used to say.

  6. “All for a product that basically makes players pee more. It’s not like it makes them run faster, be stronger or have any unfair competitive advantage. It’s like me getting in trouble on the job for taking Advil instead of Tylenol.”
    Um, the point of the diuretic is so you pee out the markers for steroids so you can pass the test. The diuretic isn’t the performance enhancing drug (not for football, anyway), it’s what you take so you don’t get caught. Obviously, you’re not supposed to take it right before the test if you’re actually using it as a masking agent. I’m not saying these guys are guilty (if they are, they have the dumbest trainer alive), but there’s a reason it’s on the banned list.
    The sad thing is, these players could easily contract a private lab to analyze any non-approved supplements to make absolutely sure they’re clean. It would cost probably $1000 per sample, which is nothing to them. Even easier, these guys could just find a chemistry grad student at their alma mater and get it done for free.
    These idiots know the stakes, they know the rules, they’re stupid to take any supplement they haven’t had privately tested. Hell, just for *safety* I wouldn’t take any of these supplements that I haven’t had checked, they’re not regulated at all. This should be a wake-up call – when banned drugs are in supplements you can get OTC, you need to think about what you’re taking.

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