Judge stops suspensions of two Vikings

Dec. 4, 2008 at 11:28 AM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 4 (UPI) -- NFL officials said they would fight a Minnesota judge's ruling that blocked the suspension of Vikings defensive linemen Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson granted a restraining order Wednesday, allowing the players to return to practice. The Williamses were among six NFL players suspended Tuesday for four games -- the last regular-season games of this season.

The league alleged the players used a diuretic that can serve as a masking agent for steroids. Such use is a violation of the NFL's anti-doping policy.

Larson ordered attorneys for the players and the league to provide briefs regarding their positions in the case before he makes the order permanent. It is unclear whether the Williamses would be eligible to play in Minnesota's game Sunday against Detroit.

The NFL issued a statement Wednesday saying the league's anti-doping policy and the collective bargaining agreement bar the kind of lawsuit brought by the Williamses.

Kevin Williams has 8 1/2 sacks and 48 tackles this season; Pat Williams has one sack and 38 tackles. Both were selected to the Pro Bowl each of the last two seasons. Kevin Williams was also picked for the 2004 Pro Bowl.

The other players suspended this week were: New Orleans' Deuce McAllister, Charles Grant and Will Smith and Houston's Bryan Pittman.

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