NFL exec: League’s independent drug tester shouldn’t have exempted past positive tests

By Dave Campbell, AP
Thursday, March 11, 2010

NFL exec testifies in Williamses’ drug lawsuit

MINNEAPOLIS — An NFL executive says the league’s independent drug testing administrator should not have exempted players who inadvertently took a banned substance before two Minnesota Vikings tested positive for the same thing two years ago.

Adolpho Birch is the NFL’s vice president for labor law and policy. He testified Thursday in a lawsuit by Vikings players Pat Williams and Kevin Williams against the NFL. They say the league broke state labor laws in applying its anti-doping policy.

Birch is in charge of the league’s steroid policy. He says he has disciplined every player that has been referred to his office for a positive test for bumetanide, which can mask the presence of steroids. The Williamses tested positive for the diuretic, but neither player is accused of taking steroids.

The Williamses’ attorneys are trying to show the NFL administered its policy unevenly.

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