The ongoing saga of the "NFL v. 6 players who tested positive for bumetanide v. Starcaps" temporarily culminated yesterday when the league suspended 6 players from the Saints, Vikings, and Texans in the flap. Basically the players tested positive for the potent diuretic bumetanide. However their defense says that the NFL players took a women's weight loss supplement StarCaps, contaminated with the masking agent (covers the use of steroids)
Paula Duffy in the Examiner summarizes the entire deal:
In a move that will certainly set off legal fireworks, the NFL has decided to suspend six players for violating the league's drug policy. The drug in question isn't really a drug at all. It is Bumetanide, a substance that acts as a masking agent for steroids but has a legitimate use. It is used in weight loss products and acts as a diuretic. The players in question took an over-the-counter product named StarCaps that contained Bumetanide. They have weight clauses in their contracts and used StarCaps to make that weight.
Bumetanide was not listed as an active ingredient in the StarCaps product and according to a lawyer for three of the suspended players, Bumetanide was also absent from the NFL banned substance list. The attorney, David Cornwell alleges the league knew of Bumetanide's presence in StarCaps and failed to let players know.
The league has decided to play hard ball on this subject and along with the press release about the suspensions it included two scanned documents that were sent to all players. One is a portion of the league's drug policy that concerns non-prescription supplements and warns that they might contain substances that aren't accounted for. The other is a notification to players that weight loss products might possibly trip the wire on a positive drug screen. Both documents are being relied on by the league to support these suspensions. Read the warning notices here and here.
Player included both defensive ends for the Vikings, currently fighting for a playoff spot. This list also included ex-All Pro running back Deuce McAllister of the New Orleans Saints.
The players suspended are Bryan Pittman, long snapper for the Houston Texans, defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings, running back Deuce McAllister and defensive linemen Charles Grant and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints. The Vikings' players are the backbone of that team's run defense and we all know about Deuce and his importance to the Saints.
Legal act5ion will ensure: The attorney for the Williams boys in Minnesota may seek a federal restraining order; attorneys for Nesbit and Grady Jackson (Atlanta Falcons) have initiated legal action against StarCaps.
The NFL apparently knew StarCaps spiked their supplement with the potent diuretic bumetanide, obviously to cheat women who buy the pill with water weight loss. So why then didn't the league aggressively ostracize the supplement?
To make matters worse, at the appeal hearing for three other New Orleans Saints players who used StarCaps their attorney determined from a league official that it knew of the bumetanide in StarCaps for more than a year and did not disclose that to the players. Bumetanide is on the banned substance list because it acts as a masking agent for steroids.
The Examiner also claims that the NFL warned players ( The report by Tom Verda continues after the jump).
Again, the action on this suspension is not over by a long shot. More legal maneuvering, and much more talk especially if the Vikings miss on their playoff run.
Roger Goodell and the NFL ignored the legal threats and suspended six players for taking Bumetanide, a diuretic used for weight-loss.Bumetanide can be used to mask steroid use and there lies the reason it is on the banned substance list for the league and why these players were sent packing for the remainder of the regular season.Normally failing drug tests are a cut and dry situation. A player tries to cheat, gets the random call, fails a test and has no argument.This case is different.The suspended players who failed their test because of consuming StarCaps pills may be victims of illegal manufacturing by the company making the pills. Starcaps list of ingredients were natural and included garlic, papaya and corn spices but did not include Bumetanide.Bumetanide is an FDA regulated drug so it is illegal to dispense it without a prescription. If that is the case and the company added it without the player’s knowledge, spiked their product in other words, these players may be classified more as victims than cheaters.Regardless, the NFL has good justification for the suspensions backed by a letter they sent out to the players last year.That letter contained the following warning, “There is a list of stimulants and diuretics banned by the NFL in the Policy for Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances. However, remember that the contents of supplements may not match what is listed on the label of the bottle. If you test positive for a banned stimulant or diuretic or water pill, this constitutes a positive test. I urge you not to take products to that claim to "burn fat", "lower weight" or other similar claims”.The letter went on to say, “Remember that as NFL players you are responsible for whatever is in your body”.