AFC East: StarCaps

Report: Bills facing subpoenas in StarCaps case

April, 28, 2009
4/28/09
12:29
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills are getting dragged into a federal lawsuit against the NFL, reports Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Subpoenas are expected in a suit that aims to overturn four-game suspensions given to Minnesota Vikings defensive linemen Pat Williams and Kevin Williams for violating the league's substance-abuse policy.

The Williams Wall and three New Orleans Saints players were suspended last year after testing positive for the banned substance Bumetanide, an unlisted ingredient in the dietary supplement StarCaps.

The players insist they unknowingly ingested the banned substance and claim the NFL was complicit because it knew StarCaps would cause a positive test but didn't warn anybody.

To buttress the case against the NFL, attorney Peter Ginsberg alleges one of its franchises approved the product by making it available at the facility and plans to subpoena the Bills for documentation. Pat Williams used to play for the Bills.

Murphy writes that at a hearing last week Ginsberg contended StarCaps were "freely distributed" in the Bills' locker room and that "a number" of Bills used them.

The players insist they unknowingly ingested the banned substance and contend the NFL failed to notify them.

"We have never heard these allegations, and we are not aware of anyone representing the Bills distributing StarCaps, an over-the-counter weight-loss supplement, to players," Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said in a statement to the Pioneer Press. "These allegations were made by an attorney and not by any players."

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