Friday, October 24, 2008
Updated: October 26, 7:13 PM ET
McAllister, Smith, Grant, Texans' Pittman among players testing positive
ESPN.com news services
Three members of the New Orleans Saints -- running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant -- are among a number of NFL players confirmed to have tested positive under the NFL's steroid policy, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reported.
Mortensen confirmed through league sources on Saturday that the number of pending cases on the positive tests in violation of the steroids policy is eight.
Sources also have confirmed for Mortensen that four of the eight have tested positive for the diuretic Bumetanide, which belongs to a subset of medicines known as water pills that enable users to lose weight, but it is unclear who those four players are.
According to a Fox-31 Denver report, McAllister and Smith are part of the group that tested positive for Bumetanide.
"You really hate to put yourself in this position," McAllister said on Sunday. "I've always played by the rules, not only the eight years I've been in the league, but four years in college, four years in high school. I was always one to play by the rules and that's what myself and the others tried to do. I don't know how much you guys know and my counsel will put his case together. There's more to the story than just a couple lines."
Fox Sports reported Sunday that three of the players who tested positive for the diuretic are Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams. Another player who tested positive for the diuretic is Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jackson, Fox reported.
Mortensen also confirmed that Houston Texans long snapper Bryan Pittman is among those players to test positive for using a weight-loss supplement.
The positive tests for McAllister and Smith were initially reported by Fox 31-Denver. Grant's positive test was first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"I'm not going to comment on that because I just found out about it myself earlier in the week," Smith said. "I really don't feel comfortable talking about that. I just want to let things play out when we get back to the States. I'm not going to elaborate on anything. It's too early. I don't know a lot about it. We're just finding out about it ourselves and we're going to go from there and take the right procedures and figure out what happened."
Pittman is expected to appeal the findings of his test and has hired attorney David Cornwell to represent him in the process.
In a statement to the Houston Chronicle on Friday, Cornwell said, "Bryan did everything humanly possible to comply with the NFL steroid policy, including obtaining doctors' written authorization to take weight-loss medication. He did not use steroids."
Cornwell told Mortensen he has been retained by "a number of players" to represent them in the NFL appeals process, but Cornwell wouldn't identify those players or the exact number he will represent.
"The recent reports about pending appeals by players who are alleged to have used weight loss supplements reflect the most egregious violation of the NFL steroid policy," Cornwell said in his statement. "The foundation of the policy is both a player's right to appeal and an absolute right to confidentiality. By leaking this story, the 'source' is clearly attempting to put their thumb on the scale of justice and harm these men."
On Saturday, Cornwell issued another statement calling on the league to revoke the Fox-31 reporter Josina Anderson's "credentials and access to NFL games and other league events until she discloses her source."
Under the NFL's steroid policy, a player's first positive test results in a four-game suspension.
McAllister and Smith both practiced Friday morning at the Saints' hotel in Watford, England and both played in Sunday's game against San Diego in London.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel, who is with the team in London, said drug testing is a league matter and the team would have no immediate comment. On Sunday, coach Sean Payton also said that the league will handle the matter.
"It's a league policy; it's not a club's position to comment on," Payton said. "I think the league will handle it, and they're the ones that will comment in regards to it. That's really it."
NFL spokesman Michael Signora, who is in London, said the league will not comment.
Information from ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas and The Associated Press was used in this report.