A Minnesota judge has blocked the NFL's suspension of Vikings stars Kevin and Pat Williams for violating the league's anti-doping policy.
Hennepin County District Judge Gary Larson issued a temporary restraining order at the players' request on Wednesday, saying he wanted more time to hear arguments in the case. No further hearing date immediately was set.
The Williamses were among six players suspended for four games for testing positive for a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for steroids. They have argued that the substance containing the diuretic didn't list all its ingredients.
The Vikings are 7-5 and in first place in the NFC North, with the Williamses a big part of their success.
Well, then, we'll have to see where this goes from here. I'll add to this as I figured out more about it. I just wanted to get it up there for now. Anything new will be after the proverbial fold.
Okay, so here's my understanding on this. And I'm borrowing some of this from Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk, so bear with me here. While he's usually best taken with a grain of salt. . .a) he's a lawyer, so what he has to say about this particular issue takes on a bit of extra standing, and b) he seems to agree with most of us on this issue, which is always nice.
Anyway, a temporary restraining order is one that seeks to sort of "freeze the status quo" rather than allow a legal ruling to be upheld. In this case, the "status quo" is Pat and Kevin Williams being allowed to play for the Minnesota Vikings, since they were allowed to do so at the time of the ruling in the StarCaps case. Unless the NFL can get Judge Larson's temporary restraining order overturned by a federal court, the "status quo" will remain so until Judge Larson can hear the case.
As Elgar has already mentioned in the comments, it should be interesting to hear Roger Goodell try to explain to a judge. . .you know, a REAL authority. . .some of the league's more interesting disparities. . .like why it is that a player that gets caught cutting up cocaine with a credit card by police officers (like Jacksonville's Matt Jones) is subject to a three-game suspension by the league, yet players that took a diet pill that you could get at any GNC in America are subject to a four-game suspension.
I hope that this ends very, very badly for the National Football League. . .and very, very well for the Minnesota Vikings.