McAllister, Smith, Grant, Texans' Pittman among players testing positive
ESPN.com News Serviceshttp://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3661845
Another bonus? Player pictures of Smith & McAllister in the article look more like mug shots than player pics.
Three members of the New Orleans Saints -- running back Deuce McAllister and defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant -- are among a number of NFL players confirmed to have tested positive under the NFL's steroid policy, ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen reports.
Mortensen confirmed through league and union sources on Saturday that the number of pending cases on the positive tests in violation of the steroids policy is eight.
Sources also have confirmed for Mortensen that four of the eight have tested positive for the diuretic Bumetanide, which belongs to a subset of medicines known as water pills that enable users to lose weight , but it is unclear who those four players are.
Mortensen also confirmed that Houston Texans long snapper Bryan Pittman is among those players to test positive for using a weight-loss supplement.
The positive tests for McAllister and Smith were initially reported by Fox 31-Denver. Grant's positive test was first reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Pittman is expected to appeal the findings of his test and has hired attorney David Cornwell to represent him in the process.
In a statement to the Houston Chronicle on Friday, Cornwell said, "Bryan did everything humanly possible to comply with the NFL steroid policy, including obtaining doctors' written authorization to take weight-loss medication. He did not use steroids."
Cornwell told Mortensen he has been retained by "a number of players" to represent them in the NFL appeals process, but Cornwell wouldn't identify those players or the exact number he will represent.
"The recent reports about pending appeals by players who are alleged to have used weight loss supplements reflect the most egregious violation of the NFL steroid policy," Cornwell said in his statement. "The foundation of the policy is both a player's right to appeal and an absolute right to confidentiality. By leaking this story, the 'source' is clearly attempting to put their thumb on the scale of justice and harm these men."
Smith's listed agent, Joel Segal, was not immediately available to comment, according to Fox 31-Denver. A representative for McAllister's agent, Jim Steiner, said the agent would call that station back.
Under the NFL's steroid policy, a player's first positive test results in a four-game suspension.
McAllister and Smith both practiced Friday morning at the Saints' hotel in Watford, England; they are preparing for Sunday's game against San Diego in London.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel, who is with the team in London, said drug testing is a league matter and the team would have no immediate comment.
NFL spokesman Michael Signora, who is in London, said the league will not comment on the reports.
According to Anderson's report, McAllister and Smith are part of a group that tested positive for a diuretic known as Bumetanide. Others tested positive for a different substance.
"Most of them tested positive for Bumetanide," said the league source, according to Fox 31-Denver. "The last few tested positive for another substance that works similarly."
A source told Fox 31-Denver that Bumetanide "can also mask the use of other drugs or steroids."
Bumetanide is a drug belonging to a group of medicines called loop diuretics or water pills. Its uses include the treatment of fluid retention and swelling caused by medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver disease and kidney disease, Fox 31-Denver reported.