Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NFL Suspends 6 players for Violating Drug Policy

Will be having some rankings from last weekend up soon but this is far more important -

From the NFL's Media only website (to which I have access as a media member):

The NFL announced today the suspension without pay for four games of six players that violated the NFL Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances.

The players specifically violated a longstanding provision of the policy relating to the use of diuretics and water pills, which serve as masking agents for steroids and are potentially dangerous to the health of players.

The policy states that the use of so-called “blocking” or “masking” agents, including diuretics and water pills, is prohibited and that a positive test will not be excused because it results from the use of a dietary supplement that unknowingly contained a banned substance. Supplements are not regulated or monitored by the government and players have been warned about the risks of supplement use.

“You and you alone are responsible for what goes into your body,” the policy has always stated. “Claiming that you used only legally available nutritional supplements will not help you in an appeal…Even if they are bought over-the-counter from a known establishment, there is currently no way to be sure that they contain the ingredients listed on the packaging or have not been tainted with prohibited substances…If you take these products, you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK! For your own health and success in the league, we strongly encourage you to avoid the use of supplements altogether, or at the very least to be extremely careful about what you choose to take.”

The 'Steroid Six' are: Saints RB Deuce McAllister, Saints DE Charles Grant, Saints DE Will Smith, Vikings DT Kevin Williams, Vikings DT Pat Williams, and Texans LS Brian Pittman.

A long snapper? REALLY?

Aside from that, this has two effects of note. First, Pierre Thomas, as I expected, will likely get a fat role behind Reggie Bush. He will have some good matchups and probably some good games. Almost important will be how he plays in terms of his worth in Dynasty. If he plays well again, he could end up taking that job permanently.

Secondly, losing the 'Williams Boys' will hurt the run defense in Minny a bit. They see Kevin Smith, Tim Hightower and Michael Turner (in the Championships). Now, it won't be automatic 100 yd games for these guys (especially for Smith and the terrible Lions oline) but the matchups just got better and most of note is Michael Turner's tilt in week 16. Turner won't have a field day, but he's a lot less of a worry as well as he has been playing and now minus Pat and Kev Williams.

If any of these teams make the playoffs (probably only the Vikes, at best) then the players will be allowed to return for the playoffs.

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