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Ricky Williams appeals drug suspension

NEW YORK (April 10, 2006) -- Ricky Williams and his lawyer met with NFL counsel Jeff Pash, seeking to have the league overturn a positive drug test that could cost him the entire 2006 season.

The league, which doesn't acknowledge drug tests until there is a final determination, had no comment on the appeal. Williams' lawyer, David Cornwell, acknowledged that the hearing was taking place, but had no further comment.

The results of the hearing won't be made known immediately but if the positive test is upheld, it would be Williams' fourth violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy, meaning at least a one-year suspension.

Previous positive tests were for marijuana, which Williams acknowledged using. But the latest test apparently involved a drug other than marijuana.

Williams retired and sat out the 2004 season. He owes the Dolphins millions for breaching his contract, and motivated at least partly by the need for a paycheck, he returned last year to play for new Miami coach Nick Saban.

Before being allowed to return, Williams served a four-game suspension at the start of the season for his third violation of the drug program. He still ran for 743 yards last season and gained 4.4 yards per carry while sharing playing time with rookie Ronnie Brown. Williams gained 280 yards in the final two games when Brown was hurt.

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