According to Pro Football Talk. . .and, again, feel free to take PFT for what you will. . .it appears that that might be the case.
Cornwell contends that Dr. John Lombardo, the administrator of the NFL’s policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances, testified during the hearing that he learned in late 2006 of the presence of Bumetanide in StarCaps. Lombardo, per Cornwell, did not share this information with NFL players, because Lombardo feared that other players testing positive for Bumetanide would claim that they were taking StarCaps, even if they weren’t.
Says Cornwell: “Dr. Lombardo’s failure to disclose what he knew about StarCaps may have exposed NFL players to the significant health risks associated with the unintentional ingestion of diuretics. If Dr. Lombardo had notified NFL players that StarCaps contained bumetanide, Will, Deuce and Charles would have never used the product to lose weight.”
If this is true, then there's absolutely, positively no freaking way that the league should be able to suspend anybody for the use of StarCaps. None. Because if this is true, the league a) knew that there were players that were using these StarCaps, b) knew that said StarCaps contained a substance that's on the NFL's banned substance list, and c) didn't bother disclosing this information league-wide.
The hearing for Deuce McAllister, Will Smith, and Charles Grant apparently lasted long past midnight last night, and one would have to assume that matters like this one are going to be central to the argument. Cornwell is also representing the Williams brothers in their case, and you can bet that this will be brought up during their hearing as well.
If PFT's source is, indeed, true on this matter, then for the NFL to have not disclosed this information to the league and its players is nothing short of completely irresponsible. As Cornwell mentions, it could have caused a potential health issue. What if one of these players had died on the field like Korey Stringer did from taking these StarCaps and the NFL had sat on this information? The league would have a whole lot more to worry about than a few guys trying to cut weight, that's for sure.
I really, really hope that this is true, and that Roger Goodell ends up looking like the fool and the hypocrite he is in this situation as a result. Maybe then the league can start turning their attention to people who have really done something wrong.