Reports: Deuce, Will Smith, two other Saints fail drug test

Posted by The Times-Picayune October 24, 2008 3:08PM

Saints running back Deuce McAllister is reported to have failed a test for a banned substance.

According to two published reports, New Orleans Saints star tailback Deuce McAllister and star defensive end Will Smith were in a group of players that have tested positive under the NFL’s steroid policy as a result of taking water pills to lose weight.

Fox 31-Denver reporter Josina Anderson first reported the story, citing an unnamed NFL source, and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen confirmed it later Friday with two sources. Anderson’s report said four Saints players failed the test. It did not name the other two players.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel, in London with the team for its game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, said “this is a league matter and we have no comment.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has no comment on the report but said any player suspension for this week would have already been announced.

Anderson’s report cited “a rash of positive tests.” The number is more than 10 and may exceed 15, two sources told Mortensen, ESPN’s senior NFL analyst.

Under the NFL’s steroid policy, a player’s first positive test results in a four-game suspension but that suspension doesn’t take effect until an appeals process is completed. It’s unclear where McAllister and Smith are in that process but they both practiced with the team all week and are expected to play Sunday.

Saints guard Jamar Nesbit was suspended four games Sept. 24 for violating the league’s steroids policy. Nesbit said at the time that his failed drug test stemmed from an over-the-counter product he took this summer, which was advertised as an all-natural body-cleansing health product. He has been practicing with the team on a special roster exemption this week and is expected to be activated Sunday.

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 has been on the list of the banned substances for “many years,” according to Aiello.

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