A Minnesota judge ruled Friday that he will keep the suspensions of two Minnesota Vikings on hold if they follow through on their plan to file an appeal in their closely watched fight against the NFL's anti-drug policy.
An attorney for defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams said he planned to file that appeal later Friday.
"As a matter of fairness and as a matter of law, we are convinced the NFL cannot and will not be allowed to suspend Kevin and Pat," attorney Peter Ginsberg said.
The NFL first tried to suspend the Williamses, who are not related, in 2008 after they tested positive for a banned diuretic that was in the StarCaps weight-loss supplement they were taking. The ingredient, bumetanide, can mask the presence of steroids. The Williamses were not accused of taking steroids and said they didn't know the diuretic was in the supplement.
The players sued the NFL in state court, saying it violated state labor law. Their four-game suspensions have been on hold while the case has been playing out in state and federal courts. The Williamses were allowed to play and they helped the Vikings reach the NFC title game in January.
Hennepin County District Court Judge Gary Larson ruled earlier this month that the NFL broke state law when it failed to notify the two players of their test results within the mandated three days. He said an NFL official played "a game of 'gotcha'" with them, but he also ruled the NFL could suspend the players because neither was harmed by the notification delay.