Three Denver Broncos players -- linebacker D.J. Williams, defensive tackle Ryan McBean and tight end Virgil Green -- have been suspended multiple games for violating the NFL's policy on performing enhancing substances, the league announced Friday.
McBean and Williams have been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2012 regular season. Green has been suspended without pay for the team's first four games.
Williams denied any wrongdoing and vowed to defend himself.
"I understand from media reports today that the NFL has announced a suspension based on a specimen that the NFL acknowledges did not contain steroids or any illegal substance," Williams said in a statement. "Instead, the NFL contends that I provided a non-human specimen. I have never failed a test of any kind -- for steroids or illegal substances -- during my eight-year pro career.
"We proved -- conclusively -- at the NFL hearing on this matter that the NFL and its specimen collector wholly failed in their duties to safeguard and process my specimen properly ... We will be vigorously pursuing my rights in the judicial system. My suspension is unjust; the NFL has undermined and corrupted its own steroid policy."
Lawyers for Williams and McBean will file a lawsuit against the NFL early next week, a league source told NFL Network's Jason La Canfora. The two players are disputing the validity of the claims against them on multiple counts and will seek an injunction. The case will be filed in a district court in Denver.
All three are eligible for the team's offseason and preseason practices and games.
"We are aware of this matter, but due to the confidentiality of the program, we are unable to provide additional comment on the situation," the Broncos said in a statement.
Williams, 29, has played eight seasons in Denver, having started 114 games in that time. He has recorded 20.5 sacks, including 14 over the last three seasons.
McBean, 27, has been in Denver for three seasons, starting 21 games. He had all four of his Broncos' sacks last season. Green, 23, was a rookie last season, catching only three passes for 24 yards.