DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams refused to discuss Tuesday whether he violated the NFL’s substance-abuse policy a second time by using marijuana.
“No one in the NFL can talk about anything regarding the substance-abuse program,” Williams said. “League-wide, it’s a confidentiality thing. … I’m here to answer questions about football.” (Related item: Dolphins team report)
Team officials have declined comment about the situation.
Three South Florida newspapers quoted unidentified sources last week saying Williams tested positive for marijuana and faced a fine of at least $650,000 for violating the substance-abuse policy for the second time since joining the Dolphins in 2002.
Gary Ostrow, Williams’ Fort Lauderdale-based attorney, has called media reports about the alleged positive test “slanted” and “one-dimensional,” and told The Associated Press on Saturday that Williams was eager to “set the record straight.”
Ostrow didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking further comment Tuesday.
Williams told The Palm Beach Post last week he visited NFL headquarters in New York a few weeks ago but wouldn’t give details when questioned during a media availability Tuesday.
Under league rules, a player who tests positive twice is fined the value equal to his pay for four games. According to salary data released by the NFL Players Association, that would cost Williams $878,823.53.
A player who tests positive a third time is given at least a four-game suspension. A player who tests positive a fourth time is suspended for at least a season. The NFL announces only suspensions, not drug-related fines.
In two seasons with Miami, Williams has run for 3,235 yards and 25 touchdowns, although his per-game yardage average fell 30 yards last season from the 115.8-a-game clip that carried him to the NFL rushing title in 2002.
When asked Tuesday about how the reports of a possible positive test may affect his image, Williams simply said people “can judge for themselves.”
“I can’t tell anyone about myself,” Williams said. “They just have to look at the way I carry myself, look at the way I play the game, look at the way I practice and what I do in the community.”