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Goodell, Smith returning to Capitol Hill

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and players union chief DeMaurice Smith are heading back to Capitol Hill next week.

This week Goodell and Smith testified about brain injuries before the House Judiciary Committee, and next week, the Associated Press reports, both are scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee about the aborted suspensions of Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.

Williams and Williams got four-game suspensions for taking the supplement StarCaps, which included the banned substance Bumetanide. But they got those suspensions thrown out after suing the league in state court on the grounds that the NFL’s testing violated Minnesota workplace laws. The NFL also held off on suspending Saints defensive ends Charles Grant and Will Smith, who also took StarCaps, until the case with Williams and Williams is resolved.

None of the players are accused of taking anabolic steroids, but the suspensions were issued under the league’s policy on anabolic steroids and related substances -- a policy that in the past has been lauded by members of Congress as a policy that Major League Baseball should emulate.

The hearing is titled, “The NFL StarCaps Case: Are Sports’ Anti-Doping Programs At A Legal Crossroads?” Committee Chairman Henry Waxman has said he is concerned that the StarCaps case will result in professional sports leagues adopting less stringent policies regarding performance-enhancing drug use.

Representatives of Major League Baseball, the baseball players’ union and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will also testify.