DENVER (CN) – Genos “D.J.” Williams, a starting linebacker for the Denver Broncos, must serve his six-game suspension after allegedly turning in “non-human” urine for a drug test, a federal judge ruled.
U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello tossed Williams’ lawsuit against the National Football League, letting stand the decision of NFL senior advisor Harold Henderson.
Williams and former Bronco Ryan McBean sued the NFL in March, appealing their six-game suspensions for allegedly submitting non-human urine specimens. McBean dropped out of the lawsuit in May, the Denver Post reported, in exchange for a three-game reduction in the suspension.
But Williams must serve his full suspension, after Arguello declined to interfere with the NFL’s decision.
Williams claimed that there was a period of several hours where his urine specimen was unaccounted for, that handlers had not sealed the specimen in his presence, as is required by NFL policy, and that someone forged his signature on documents verifying that he had witnessed the sample being sealed.
But the NFL said any errors in the paperwork were “either explainable or insignificant” and “established that the departure from its protocols did not materially affect the validity of the test,” Arguello wrote.
The NFL showed that Williams had a “common scheme or plan to manipulate tests,” by showing that Williams submitted non-human urine on a subsequent test and that at a third collection, he “dropped an unidentified bottle or vial on the floor as he was filling the collection bottle.”
And Williams’ claims that the arbitrator harmed him by waiting longer than the standard five-day period to hand down a decision fell flat, Arguello found.
Williams claimed the arbitrator’s delay stopped him from serving his suspension during 2011.
But Williams could have objected to the delay sooner than he did, Arguello found.
“Such delay by plaintiff undercuts the credibility of his assertion that he would have preferred to serve his suspension in 2011, during the Broncos’ postseason games.” Arguello wrote.
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