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Congress to look into Vikings case

  Breaking Legal News  -   POSTED: 2009/10/12 15:35

The House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to conduct a hearing next month on the case of two professional football players whose suspensions were blocked by a federal appeals court.

Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is concerned that the legal issues raised in the case "could result in weaker performance-enhancing drugs policies for professional sports," the committee said in a statement issued to The Associated Press Thursday.

The committee provided the statement after the AP reported the hearing, citing two people with knowledge of the committee plans. The two spoke on the condition of anonymity because the hearing had not yet been announced.

The NFL had attempted to suspend Minnesota Vikings Pat Williams and Kevin Williams four games each for violating the league's anti-doping policy.

But the players sued, arguing that the NFL's testing violated state workplace laws. A federal judge issued an injunction blocking the order, which was upheld last month by a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The decision troubled the NFL and professional sports leagues, which expressed concern about players being subjected to different standards depending on their state. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said after the ruling that the NFL was considering its next step, which could include an appeal, a trial in state court, or taking the issue to Congress. Subsequently, the league was granted more time to file documents asking the court to reconsider the suspensions.


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