Gotta give Florio over at Pro Football Talk credit. . .he's been all over this StarCaps thing. If his most recent update on the matter is true, it may be the most damning evidence of all against the NFL
“In November of 2006, an NFL Player tested positive for the diuretic Bumetanide,” Cornwell said. “He claimed that he used StarCaps and that was the source of the diuretic. The NFL then, through their toxicologist, Dr. Finkel, ordered its lab in
Utah to test StarCaps. That investigation indeed confirmed that StarCaps contained this diuretic. The NFL, despite what they said in the case for the Saints and the Vikings, did not suspend that player.”
“It was the first time that anyone knew StarCaps contained a diuretic because it is not listed on the label,” Cornwell added. “The NFL, through Dr. Lombardo [the administrator of the NFL’s steroid policy], did not advise players that StarCaps was a dangerous product. In 2004, Deuce McAllister used the NFL Hotline and in ‘06 two other players contacted the NFL Hotline. Despite the knowledge that NFL Players were using StarCaps and the knowledge that it contained a prohibited substance, the NFL did not notify NFL players of the danger of this product.”
So, if this turns out to be true. . .and I have no reason to believe that David Cornwell would lie about this. . .then there was a player back in 2006 that tested positive for the same thing that Pat and Kevin Williams tested positive for, and was suspended for exactly zero game by the National Football League as a result.
Nobody's said who the player was yet. . .but if this is true, I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that he played for the Patriots, the Colts, the Cowboys, or the Packers. You know, the NFL's chosen ones.
And, hey. . .if the NFL actually said this to a judge and it turns out that they lied. . .well, I love the smell of perjury in the morning. It smells like. . .victory.
Honestly, if it turns out that somebody has tested positive for this diuretic back in 2006 and wasn't suspended for it, the NFL has exactly zero legs to stand on as far as suspending Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, Deuce McAlister, Charles Grant, and Will Smith.
The NFL's doctors knew that StarCaps contained a banned diuretic, and they said nothing.
Deuce McAlister and two other players called the NFL's Supplement Hotline. . .which sounds like a bigger and bigger joke the more and more that comes out about it. . .and were told nothing about StarCaps being banned for use by the NFL. Probably because IT HADN'T BEEN.
Let me drop a little something that many of you out there have heard. . .and some of you have probably even said yourselves:
I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
I will not be ashamed to say "I know not," nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the Hippocratic Oath. It's the oath that doctors swear prior to being allowed to practice medicine. This oath should supersede any "Collective Bargaining Agreement" that could be placed on paper, up to and including the NFL's CBA. A doctor's committment to the sanctity of human life should take precedence over who signs their paychecks or who might be whispering in their ears.
Dr. John Lombardo, the NFL doctor that knew that StarCaps contained Bumetanide and failed to disclose this fact to the NFL's players, grossly violated this oath when he withheld that information. According to Yahoo! Health, Bumetanide can cause problems for kidney disease, liver disease, gout, lupus, diabetes, or an allergy to sulfa drugs. It also says that people that are taking Bumetanide should have their blood tested on a regular basis.
Do you think that Kevin and Pat Williams were getting their blood tested on a regular basis? Keep in mind, the NFL doesn't do blood tests for drugs because they say it's too invasive.
(And it would uncover if anyone was using HGH. . .which would probably open up an entirely new can of worms for the NFL, but that's another discussion for another time.)
Do you think that Pat and Kevin Williams WOULD have been getting their blood tested on a regular basis if they KNEW they were taking something like Bumetanide? #93 and #94 aren't stupid. The answer, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is yes.
If this turns out to be true, not only should the five players in question not be suspended by the National Football League, but Dr. John Lombardo should be stripped of his license to practice medicine immediately so that he can't potentially harm anybody else.
This is starting to look better and better for the players involved in this case, in my opinion. I've been wrong about my gut feelings on this sort of thing before, though, so don't take my word for it.