NFL To Appeal Ruling in Williams' Case

Bleacher ReportCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 21:  Ellis Wyms #97, Kevin Williams #93, Pat Williams #94 and Brian Robison #96 of the Minnesota Vikings look on from the sidelines against the Carolina Panthers during their NFL game at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 21, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Panthers 20-10. (Photo by David Sherman/Getty Images)

The National Football League has given a notice that it plans to appeal the ruling that U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson gave when he threw out two claims made by Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams (no relation) on Friday, May 22.

The NFL's attorneys will ask the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to review that case and make sure that Magnuson didn't dismiss the two claims made by the Williams' outright and that he didn't err when stating the two claims were not barred from federal law.

The two Pro Bowl defensive tackles were suspended for four games last season after they tested positive for a diuretic known as a bumetanide, which is in a product called StarCaps.

StarCaps is a supplement used for weight loss, but bumetanide is on the NFL's list for banned substances because it can be a masker for steroids.

The Williams' were granted a restraining order against the league, putting off their suspensions until the case could be reviewed.

The NFL Player's Association's attorneys are claiming that the league knew about StarCaps containing bumetanide back in 2006 even though it wasn't marked on the label, and that the league should have notified the players, as well as federal regulators.

However, the NFL has stayed by its claim that players are always responsible for what they put in their bodies and taking a banned substance inadvertently is not an excuse for players to use.

Two claims made by the Williams' attorneys that involved state laws were sent back to the state court by Judge Magnuson. These claims involved how and when Minnesota employers can submit drug tests and not allowing drug tests offsite to be submitted during nonworking hours for legal substances.

The NFL Player's Association attorney Jeffrey Kessler could also file an appeal, but is currently out of the country and couldn't be reached for comment.