View Full Version : Court Lifts Ban on NFL Drug-Test Suspensions

05-08-2010, 11:15 AM
A Minnesota trial court has ruled that the National Football League was properly considered an “employer” for state law purposes and that it violated the notice provisions of Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act (“DATWA”) in drug-testing two players. However, in the May 6, 2010, decision, Judge Gary Larson, of the Hennepin County, Minnesota District Court, declined to find the NFL violated DATWA’s confidentiality provisions. More significantly, the court determined that the affected players, Kevin and Pat Williams, even with the technical violations DATWA, did not incur any damages. Thus, the court refused to keep in force an injunction it had earlier issued that barred the NFL from suspending the players.

The case centered on the players’ positive drug-test results for the NFL-banned substance Bumetanide. They maintained this was caused by their having consumed StarCaps, an over-the-counter dietary supplement. StarCaps contained Bumetanide, but did not list it as an ingredient on the label. (Hence, the case is commonly referred to as the “StarCaps” case.)

The court decision provides a detailed timeline of the events leading to the NFL’s proposed actions against the players for violations of its substance-abuse policy.
The Decision