Suspended players need presidential pardon

The NFL has suspended six players for violation of the steroid and banned substance policy. Saints players Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister, and the Fresh Prince of Bourbon St., Will Smith, were suspended. Pat Williams and Kevin Williams of the Vikings were suspended, along with Texans long-snapper Bryan Pittman.

The NFL has a great drug-testing program, and most of the time I agree with the suspensions based on the facts of the case. In this case, a pardon is appropriate because of a simple but correctable error in the system.

McAllister followed procedure by taking the Starcaps product to the trainers, who in turn called the NFL hotline, which stated that the listed ingredients on the bottle were not on the banned list. Of course, by only reading the product’s label, the hotline did exactly what players do.

Ironically, Dr. John Lombardo, the NFL Drug Czar, was aware of the product and the diuretic it contained, but because there was no communication between Dr. Lombardo and the NFL hotline, we have this situation that could change the course of the playoffs.

Players are not doctors. These players went through the proper procedures to get approval. The culprit here is a lack of communication between the NFL hotline and the NFL Drug Czar. Therefore, I petition Commissioner Roger Goodell (or that guy in the White House) to grant a pardon to the players who were not trying to gain an advantage by using a performance enhancing drug, but merely trying to make weight.

Jamie Dukes

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