File this under "Things John Elway would rather not happen when Peyton Manning is at Broncos headquarters while you're trying to convince him that Denver is a wonderful place to play football".
Three Broncos, linebacker D.J. Williams, defensive tackle Ryan McBean, and tight end Virgil Green, have been suspended for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. Williams and McBean are out for the first six games of the 2012 season. Green will sit for four.
Vic Lombardi of CBS4 in Denver reports that Williams and McBean will file federal lawsuits against the NFL on Monday.
The tests for those two turned up a "non-human" sample, but Williams released a statement in which he claims that he's the victim of a Ryan Braun-type situation. He accuses the NFL's specimen collector of failing to do his job properly. Here's the full statement he released:
I understand from media reports today that the NFL has announced a suspension based on a specimen that the NFL acknowledges did not contain steroids or any illegal substance. Instead, the NFL contends that I provided a non-human specimen.
I have never failed a test of any kind — for steroids or illegal substances — during my eight-year pro career. I am proud of my record and proud of the way in which I conduct myself as a professional athlete and citizen. We proved — conclusively — at the NFL hearing on this matter that the NFL and its specimen collector wholly failed in their duties to safeguard and process my specimen properly.
In fact, the specimen collector was fired by the NFL after compromising my specimen as well as others'. The hearing officer, an NFL executive, ignored the NFL's own Policy, engaged in inappropriate communications with top NFL officials about this matter without my knowledge or approval, corrupted the system, ignored that my specimen had been compromised, and now has subjected me to humiliation as well as suspension. We will be vigorously pursuing my rights in the judicial system.
My suspension is unjust; the NFL has undermined and corrupted its own steroid policy.
As far as Williams and McBean are concerned, this is just the beginning of the story. We're going to hear a lot more about the details of that case over the next few days.
As for Green, he defended himself on Twitter, saying he was suspended for taking medication to treat Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and since failing the test, has been cleared by the league to take the medication (Here's tweet one and tweet two). At this point, he's made no mention of contesting the suspension.
There are a lot of interesting conversations taking place at Broncos headquarters today. A few more than the Broncos would've liked.