Three Saints — running back Deuce McAllister, and defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant— are marching into the league’s New York City headquarters Tuesday to appeal their four-game suspensions for positive tests of a weight-loss diuretic.
Suspensions do not take effect, if they do at all, until after the completion of an appeal, which comes Tuesday.
Rarely do players win appeals, but Saints coach Sean Payton has publicly backed his players, and other sources familiar with the case believe the three Saints have a legitimate chance to win their appeal.
Few know when the league is expected to make its ruling – it could be as early as this week or anytime in the next few weeks.
Other players appealing potential four-game suspensions include Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams, no relation.
And below are the two sections from the 2008 Policy on Steroids and Related Substances that explain the process.
2008 Policy on Steroids and Related Substances:
Section 6: Suspension and Related Discipline
The first time a player violates this Policy by testing positive; attempting to substitute, dilute or adulterate a specimen; manipulating a test result; or by violation of law (see Section 5), he will be suspended without pay for a minimum of four regular and/or postseason games. The suspension will begin on the date set in the League’s notification to the player of his suspension, subject to any appeal (see Section 10).
Section 10: Appeal Rights
As is more fully outlined in Appendix D, any player who is notified by the League Office that he is subject to discipline for a violation of this Policy is entitled to an appeal… Pending completion of this appeal, the suspension or other discipline will not take effect.