Barring an unlikely change of fortune, the Minnesota Vikings aren’t going to Dallas for the Super Bowl this year. Two Vikings players—defensive linemen Kevin and Pat Williams—also know they’re not going to Washington after the regular season ends.
The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down the National Football League’s bid for a High Court hearing in the ongoing steroids case that has dogged the Williamses, who are not related, since 2008.
That’s when the two tested positive for bumetanide, a diuretic drug sometimes used to mask steroid use. Bumetanide is available over the counter and isn’t illegal. However, it’s a banned substance under the NFL’s collective-bargaining agreement with the players’ union.
The league threatened the players with four-game suspensions, but they argued Minnesota state law prohibits employers from punishing employees for using legal substances.
The NFL last year tried to move the case to federal court, but lost that battle recently when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The Supreme Court’s decision lets stand a state court ruling that the NFL violated the players’ rights when it failed to provide them timely notice of their failed tests.