EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (June 7, 2005) -- Troubled Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith has been suspended by the NFL for the entire 2005 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The announcement had been expected for several weeks, ever since Vikings head coach Mike Tice suspended Smith indefinitely following an embarrassing run-in at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Smith was stopped April 21 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after his bag set off a screening device. A search found several vials of dried urine and a device which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests.
Smith told police the gear was for his cousin. He wasn't charged by police, and the NFL has said possession of the device alone isn't enough to violate league drug policies.
The NFL did not give a specific reason for Smith's suspension.
Smith's attorney, David Cornwell, did not immediately return a telephone call from The Associated Press.
Smith had been expected to battle for the starting running back job with Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore after leading the team in rushing in 2004.
Smith missed four games last season for violating the league's drug policy, and had two strikes against him before the latest violation. The third strike in the program comes with an automatic one-year suspension.