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Ricky Williams to appeal drug suspension

NEW YORK (April 9, 2006) -- Ricky Williams will meet with league officials April 10 seeking to overturn a drug suspension that could cost him the entire 2006 season.

League officials will not confirm drug suspensions under league policy that maintains confidentiality for positive tests. But Williams' agent, Leigh Steinberg, said last week that the hearing will take place at the NFL offices in New York.

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.

"I don't know what happened, but I know Ricky didn't test positive for anything," Steinberg said. "Someone made a mistake."

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 $8.6 million 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 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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