|03-10-2006, 09:48 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
Found the Little Rickey article
Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has failed an NFL drug test and could be facing a one year or longer ban from the league.BY ARMANDO SALGUERO AND JASON COLEasalguero@MiamiHerald.comAfter testing positive for marijuana in three previous NFL drug tests, Dolphins running back Ricky Williams tested positive again, but this time the banned substance is not marijuana, according to sources.
That was the latest bizarre twist in the player's on-going saga -- a saga that apparently is not over.
Two sources said the running back, who faces a minimum one-year ban from the league, has appealed his latest positive test in hopes of continuing his career.
''I would be blown away if Ricky Williams used drugs,'' said agent Leigh Steinberg, who represents Williams. ``And that's how most of the people around him also feel.''
Even if that is true and Williams has not been using street drugs, it would not preclude him testing positive for a banned substance. The NFL has a list of nearly a dozen so-called supplements that are banned. Even too much water in a urine sample can trigger a positive test result because it can be deemed a masking agent for drugs.
Williams has been in the NFL's drug treatment program, and that would not include testing for alcohol.
''This whole thing is a little confusing,'' said one source when asked what substance was found in Williams. ``I'll just leave it at that. The best way to say it is he violated the program.''
And Williams, who is out of the country and might not return until April, has detoured a promising Dolphins offseason.
The Dolphins were monitoring the possibility of making a trade for Williams and the Denver Broncos were interested in the running back. The Dolphins hoped to collect draft choices that might help add talent at need positions such as left tackle and cornerback.
But in doing their due diligence about Williams, the Broncos discovered the current positive drug test, according to a league source. A Denver television station on Sunday first reported news of Williams' positive test.
Steinberg seemed upset the news was leaked even before the appeal that could possibly prevent a suspension.
''It's really distressing that what is supposed to be a confidential, private rehabilitation and assistance program gets talked about by supposed league officials,'' Steinberg said. ``It runs completely contrary to the law and spirit of the program. For this to come out before we have had a chance to go through the appeal process is extremely disappointing.
``To me, it's the type of thing someone should be fired for.''
The Dolphins are obviously frustrated because a cloud of doubt has regathered over Williams after he had rehabilitated his reputation last season. The latest drug-test failure practically ends Miami's chances of trading the player.
''It's early and we don't know all the facts,'' Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas said Monday before attending a Dan Marino Foundation charity function at the Loews Hotel on Miami Beach. ``But at least it's February. It's not July. It's a little bit different this time.''
Thomas, along with several other Miami players, were bitterly upset when Williams unexpectedly retired from football one week prior to the start of training camp in July of 2004.
''We don't depend on one player,'' Thomas said Monday. ``We're a good team and we'll be fine. So let's see what happens in the draft and free agency.''
Thomas seemed to take solace that this possible ban won't catch the Dolphins without a starting running back. The Dolphins drafted Ronnie Brown in the first round last season, in part because Williams' status was so uncertain. Thomas called Brown ``good insurance.''
Former Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly, attending the Marino charity function,
shook his head when asked about what he called ``another Ricky Williams saga story.
''The only comment I have is I'm glad he's part of the Dolphins organization and not the Buffalo Bills,'' Kelly said.
Dolphins coach Nick Saban avoided the media and questions about the issue, slipping into the Marino event through a rear entrance.
Steinberg said Williams left for India on or around Feb. 9 and is not scheduled to return to the United States until early April. He said Williams could have received permission from the NFL to leave the country for a period of time and not be tested under the league's substance-abuse policy, but did not say that was the case.
Williams is practically incommunicado while he studies yoga and holistic medicine, and neither his family nor his agent is able to reach him on a regular basis. This is the second consecutive year Williams has spent at least a month in India studying.
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