U.S. Tenth Circuit - The FindLaw 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Broncos' D.J. Williams Loses Failed Drug Test Appeal

Denver Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams lost his NFL suspension appeal in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday.

Williams challenged the suspension through NFL arbitration and the federal courts. He claimed that the arbitrator in the matter "exceeded his power, engaged in misconduct, disregarded the law, or was biased," reports The Washington Post. Both District Judge Christine Arguello and the Tenth Circuit panel rejected his claims.

Williams sued the NFL for suspending him after he reportedly failed multiple drug tests. He claims that the League violated protocol in collecting urine samples, reports The Associated Press. In June, Judge Arguello dismissed his claim.

Under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL Management Council and the NFL Players Association, all professional football players are tested at least once per league year for banned substances such as anabolic/androgenic steroids (including exogenous testosterone), stimulants, human or animal growth hormones. Players are also randomly selected throughout the calendar year for testing. Players can be suspended for testing positive, and for trying to cheat or manipulate test results.

The League says that Williams failed drug tests twice, (at least one of those times involved a non-human urine sample), and was involved in sketchy situation with an unnecessary bottle during a third urine test, according to The Denver Post. (Williams claimed the bottle contained "something he used for energy" before practice.)

Williams' attorney Peter Ginsberg told The Washington Post in an email. "We are obviously disappointed. By its own admission, the NFL failed to follow the procedures mandated to assure the validity of the samples. The NFL-designated arbitrator ignored those violations and the NFL and its arbitrator have now escaped judicial scrutiny. And D.J. Williams is the victim."

Williams has been a starter for the Broncos since he was drafted in 2004, reports The Denver Post.

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