Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams and defensive tackle Ryan McBean were each suspended by the NFL for six games and teammate Virgil Green (tight end) received a four game ban for violating the League's policy on performance-enhancing substances based on tests administered prior to the 2011 season.
Both Williams and McBean have contested the validity of the suspensions (after appeals were heard and denied). Williams and McBean were suspended an additional two games because of inconsistencies with the collection process. Specifically, Williams claims to have been informed by the NFL that he submitted a "nonhuman" urine sample. Green was suspended for taking ADHD medication without prior approval from the League and, surprisingly, is the least incredulous of the three.
In denying the NFL's claims Williams alleged in his statement that he established, "conclusively," that "the NFL and its specimen collector wholly failed in their duties to safeguard and process my specimen properly." He also noted that he heard "from media reports today that the NFL has announced a suspension based on a specimen that the NFL acknowledges did not contain steroids or any illegal substance." Williams went on to state that he never failed a drug test for "steroids or illegal substances" before in his career. He does not address the "nonhuman" claim and the NFL has denied his allegations.
McBean's attorney, Peter Schaffer, is also attacking the NFL's ruling.
"I am going to vigorously fight to make sure Ryan McBean is completely exonerated," Schaffer said. "He's done nothing wrong. He's not been tested positive for anything. Ryan's rights have been so violated by the NFL, it's shameful."
Harold Henderson, who works in the commissioner's office, was the judge in the case.
"I told the judge, 'at least act like you're impartial,' " Schaffer said. " 'I know you're not; just give me a break and act like you're impartial.'
"The NFL admitted their collector screwed up because they terminated him for dereliction of duty. They fired the collector, they said the collector clearly violated protocol and they still (found against) the players. The players never - this is very important - the players never tested positive for a steroid."
Strong words and Schaffer has quite the blueprint here. He questioned the impartiality of the NFL review process, noted a violation of the sample collection protocol and plays around with the semantics of performance enhancers and "steroids." Back in October of last year, McBean was arrested for stalking, only to have the Denver DA's office decline to press charges, so maybe he's looking to catch lightning in a bottle for the second time.
In addition to publicly accusing the NFL of inept handling and corrupting the review process, both Williams and McBean have said that they will pursue legal action.
Broncos' D.J. WIlliams, McBean, Green suspended for PEDs [Denver Post]
Three Broncos suspended for performance-enhancing drugs [Denver Post]