Judge blocks five doping suspensions

A federal judge in St. Paul, Minn., yesterday blocked the NFL from suspending five players for violating the league's anti-doping policy by using a banned diuretic, clearing the way for them to play tomorrow.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said he needed more time to consider the case after hearing several hours of arguments from the league and the NFL Players Association. Magnuson gave no indication when he would issue his written ruling.


Kevin Williams and Pat Williams of the Minnesota Vikings and Charles Grant, Deuce McAllister and Will Smith of the New Orleans Saints were suspended this week for four games each. They tested positive for a banned diuretic in the dietary supplement StarCaps.

The union argued the NFL didn't properly inform players about what it knew about the product.


Giants:: After making them wait almost a week, linebacker Antonio Pierce talked to investigators about the accidental shooting of wide receiver Plaxico Burress, his teammate. What he said, much like many of the details from last Saturday night, remains a mystery.

Authorities provided no details of Pierce's meeting with police detectives and prosecutors at the Manhattan district attorney's office. Police initially said the doctor who treated Burress after he accidentally shot himself in the right thigh at a Manhattan nightclub was to meet with authorities, but she will do so next week instead.

The authorities are interested in why neither Pierce, who drove Burress to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, nor Dr. Josyann Abisaab called police to report the shooting.

Redskins: : Running back Clinton Portis took part in some of practice despite his multiple injuries and is expected to play tomorrow night against the Ravens.

Et cetera:: Linebacker Junior Seau, 39, signed with the Patriots, coming out of retirement again. ... The NFL suspended Titans defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson for four games for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances.