Five players await June 15 court date in banned-substance case

NEW ORLEANS -- A June 15 trial date has been set in the case of suspended New Orleans Saints defensive linemen Charles Grant and Will Smith, former Saints running back Deuce McAllister and Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

Pretrial motions will be heard beginning May 14. The NFL Players Association filed a federal lawsuit against the NFL on the players' behalf in December, hoping to overturn their four-game suspensions for violating the league's policy on steroids and related substances.

All five players tested positive for a banned diuretic, bumetanide, which they claim was an unlisted ingredient in an over-the-counter weight loss product called StarCaps.

The NFLPA is arguing that the league knew StarCaps was a tainted product but failed to properly warn players, and that the league-appointed arbitrator who ruled on their suspensions had a conflict of interest.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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