Congress getting involved in StarCaps case

Pat and Kevin Williams will have their cases against the NFL examined by a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee next week. It's another step in a long and winding conflict between the NFL and the players who tested positive for a banned substance.

The U.S. Congress is set to hear the case of Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in their fight against the NFL's banned substance policy next week.

The House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection will conduct a hearing into the Minnesota law that has allowed the Williams Wall to continue playing against the NFL's imposition of a four-game suspension. The hearing is scheduled for noon CST on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Executives from the NFL and the NFL Players Association are expected to testify. It is unknown at this point whether the Williamses will be called as witnesses. The hearing coincides with the start of the Vikings bye week, so technically there wouldn't be a conflict between attending the hearings in Washington D.C. and missing practice time in Minnesota.

It is believed the case could eventually wind up in the U.S. Supreme Court as the Williamses claim the NFL has violated Minnesota's drug-testing laws by not giving them an opportunity to explain themselves after testing positive to the over-the-counter diuretic StarCaps. The NFL is asking Congress to consider a federal law that would close such legal loopholes that currently are protecting the Williamses from serving their suspensions. The lawyers for Pat and Kevin say their clients have a strong case that has been upheld thus far in court throughout the state and appeals court systems.

While it isn't expected that any ruling will come immediately from the Congressional hearing, it is anticipated that getting Congress involved will keep the ball rolling, much like it did when the same committee structure got baseball to toughen up its drug policy.


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    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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