NEW YORK -- An NFL lineman who lost his starting job while serving a drug suspension filed suit against the league in federal court Wednesday, claiming it knew the weight-loss supplement StarCaps contained a banned substance but didn't tell players.
Jamar Nesbit is an 11-year veteran who lost his starting job with the New Orleans Saints in 2008 when he chose to serve a four-game suspension after testing positive for bumetanide.
Nesbit says he took StarCaps, which didn't list bumetanide as an ingredient.
Like two Minnesota Vikings players who were caught in the same situation, Nesbit contends that NFL officials knew StarCaps contained bumetanide but didn't specifically notify players or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. He also says other players who tested positive for the same substance weren't suspended by the league.
Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith, and former running back Deuce McAllister also were caught taking bumetanide, but they fought their suspensions and were able to play.
Nesbit, 33, served his suspension and lost his starting job to Carl Nicks. He played in 13 games last season, mostly on special teams, and was released in March.
Nesbit, now a free agent, says he was damaged by the NFL's nondisclosure of bumetanide in StarCaps and is demanding unspecified damages.
The NFL's position since the StarCaps controversy broke has been that players are responsible for what they put into their bodies.
"There is no basis for undoing the discipline issued for Mr. Nesbit's violation of a collectively bargained program and, therefore, no merit to this lawsuit," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday night.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press