NFL Shame – Making an Example out of Innocent Players

This StarCaps supplement has been a popular one for athletes battling weight problems. The NFL supposedly had reasons for not disclosing to the players that StarCaps contained Bumetanide, despite knowing it for over a year. StarCaps didn’t disclose the ingrediant Bumetanide on their label. So who gets the blame? 5 NFL players, including Deuce McAllister and other players who’s teams are in the midst of a football playoff hunt. The penalty? Suspensions for the rest of the regular season. 

The problem with the product is that it has the potential to mask steroids, which is why the ingredient Bumetanide was supposedly banned. However, according to David Cornwell, the attorney for three of the suspended players, Bumetanide wasn’t even on the NFL banned substance list. Crowell says the NFL’s independent drug administrator has acknowledged he did not inform NFL players that the supplement StarCaps contained a banned diuretic. How low can the National Football League be to try to suspend these players and sully their names for a potential problem they should have had the decency to disclose to the players?

The NFL apparently has succumbed to the fear of criticism so much so that exercising simple judgement apparently is not an option. Testimony by the N.F.L.’s consulting toxicologist revealed that Dr. John Lombardo, the doctor who oversees the drug program, chose not to single out StarCaps by name, in part, for fear of being sued. Attorney David Cornwell said that Dr. Lombardo’s failure to disclose the fact Bumetanide was in StarCaps may have exposed NFL players to the significant health risks associated with the unintentional ingestion of diuretics.

This plainly does not appear to be a situation where guys were using steroids or trying to somehow cheat the system. Showing some leniency and working to ensure that players were informed on this matter so that it didn’t happen again would seem to have been a preferable solution. Saddling innocent players with the stigma of being illegal drug users/cheaters was not the proper solution.

You can’t take every bogus excuse that comes down the pike, but what about a circumstance where the drug company did not disclose this ingredient and the NFL didn’t disclose it when they found out about it? They knew it was a popular product and if anyone should be on the hot seat it should be the National Football League. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for the league to specifically ban a popular over the counter product when they know there is an unlabeled ingredient that would violate it’s policies.

Hopefully the players win their appeals and the league improves it’s policies to somehow account for circumstances where it is obvious that no harm was intended or done. I don’t think trying to appease the media and phony public relations at the expense of the players is a good long term solution.

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