As noted over the weekend, a local Minnesota judge blocked the 2008 drug suspension of the two Minnesota Viking lineman Kevin and Pat Williams. (To the AP)
Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson on Thursday granted the players' motion for a temporary restraining order. That keeps the NFL from suspending them until their case is decided.
That may be a while. The judge also scheduled a hearing for July 22 on whether he should put state court proceedings on hold while a federal appeals court considers other issues in the case.
The defensive tackles tested positive last summer for a banned diuretic that can mask the presence of steroids, though they've never been accused of taking steroids.
The NFL had intended to enforce the Williamses' four-game suspensions at the start of the upcoming season.
Other professional leagues have now supported the NFL in attempting to discipline the Viking duo:
MLB, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey Association asked Monday for permission to file paperwork in federal court in support of the NFL, which wants to suspend the players for four games. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed a similar motion on its own.
Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, who are not related, have never been accused of taking steroids. The two linemen tested positive last summer for a banned diuretic, bumetanide, that can mask the presence of steroids. They took the weight-loss supplement StarCaps, which contained the diuretic but wasn't listed on the label.
The leagues contend their own drug testing programs would be affected if the linemen are allowed to fight their four-game suspensions in state court. USADA argues uniform rules are needed "to ensure a level playing field."