Just for record, there are no reports that suggest Deuce McAllister has tested positive for steroids. Blog commenters have written it here more than once, but that doesn't make it true.
Instead, McAllister reportedly tested positive for something called "Bumetanide," a potent diuretic that can be used as a masking agent. Bumetanide has been banned by the NFL since 1989.
McAllister hasn't really said much about the likelihood of a suspension, nor has his employer. The league has an airtight confidentiality policy that only the intrepid reporters at Fox 31 are able to circumvent. Deuce made the following comments to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, however:
McAllister said he has been dealing with the issue for five weeks and is optimistic it will be resolved in his favor. ...
"You really hate to put yourself in a situation like this because ... you always want to play by the rules and that's what we've tried to do, myself as well as the other individuals," McAllister said. "My counsel will put his case together, but there's more to the story than just a couple of lines."
The Times-Picayune also suggests that a few more players could be involved:
But word around the locker room was that more Saints players could be implicated in the coming weeks for taking the same diuretic -- an over-the-counter diet pill called Star Caps -- that has McAllister, (Charles) Grant and (Will) Smith in trouble and previously landed guard Jamar Nesbit on probation.
Star Caps are widely-available. If you follow that link, you'll notice that they're endorsed by a sparkly woman named Nikki. She appears to be an aging porn star clinging to viability through the miracle of unregulated supplements, but, in fact, she's "an entrepreneur...painter, writer, web designer...photographer and art collector," according to her bio.
Nikki's signature product has also disrupted the lives of thousands of fantasy owners. The website claims that Star Caps are "all natural," and it suggests that some combination of Peruvian papaya and dried garlic handles the heavy lifting. No mention of Bumetanide, curiously, but apparently it's in there. Star Caps have been around for as long as the NFL has prohibited Bumetanide, so it's tough to believe the "Didn't know what I was taking" defense will prove effective in this case.
Still, it's nice that McAllister is optimistic. If he were to somehow avoid suspension, he'd have a pair of terrific match-ups (at ATL, at KC) following the Week 9 bye. Reggie Bush will likely miss another three weeks following arthroscopic knee surgery, and in his absence, McAllister delivered a useful fantasy line against the Chargers (85 combined yards, one TD).
You can't bet on the NFL being lenient, though. As the Times-Picayune says, "Overturned suspensions happen about once a solstice." And again, McAllister reportedly tested positive for a substance that's been forbidden since 1989, and that was allegedly contained in a product that's been available for over 20 years.
There may be more to the story, as Deuce suggests, but that shouldn't keep you from adding the 54 percent-owned Pierre Thomas. In a 10-team public format, it's tough to argue that you should keep McAllister on your roster through the bye.
But if you'd like to attempt the argument, please comment...
Addendum (without much clarity): According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, an appeal "is set for the middle of November." The offending Saints are appealing together. Week 11 also happens to be set for the middle of November, and that's the best upcoming match-up for the Saints. They'll face Kansas City, a team that allows 196.9 rushing yards per game.
We need a better timeline here. If you're an unnamed, high-ranking NFL source, please comment. I'm still speculating on Thomas, and we should note that the nine percent-owned Aaron Stecker had five receptions for 27 yards on Sunday.
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