Report: Ricky Williams failed third drug test

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Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Former Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams reportedly failed a third drug test for the use of marijuana.

According to the Thursday edition of the Miami Herald, Williams said the drug was a bigger reason for his retirement than he initially indicated. He also noted that he knew of his third failed drug test and a mandatory suspension that would have accompanied it prior to telling head coach Dave Wannstedt of his desire to stop playing football. According to the substance abuse policy in the NFL, a player is required to serve a four-game suspension for failing a drug test. Williams, who retired from the game last Sunday, told the paper that he was not addicted to smoking marijuana, but did not believe that it should be banned by the NFL. He said that he decided to quit football even before he tested positive for drugs for a second time last season when he incurred a $650,000 fine. Williams appealed that fine, but it was denied. The 27-year-old Williams claimed that he had been using a masking agent to cleanse his system while being randomly tested for two seasons. Williams said the Dolphins did not know of his third failed test or the results of his appealed second one because NFL confidentiality rules prevent clubs from speaking on player drug issues, with a possible fine of $500,000. The Texas product failed his first drug test soon after arriving in Miami in 2002. He spent much of his two seasons with the Dolphins in the league's drug program, as he saw a therapist weekly and was subjected to eight to 10 random urine tests a month at his home. Williams told the paper that he smoked throughout his time in South Florida although he did stop occasionally. He said he passed the random drug tests by drinking 32 ounces of a masking agent called Extra Clean and chasing it quickly with 32 ounces of water. Williams, who suffers from social-anxiety disorder and was a former spokesperson for the anti-depressant Paxil, claimed marijuana helped him once he had to stop using Paxil because it didn't agree with his diet. Williams said that marijuana was better for him and did not see anything wrong with the drug since it was "just a plant." For his career, which spanned just five seasons, the former Heisman Trophy winner rushed for 6,354 yards and 41 touchdowns. In two seasons with Miami, Williams had 3,225 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns while also nabbing two receiving TDs. Williams was first drafted by New Orleans with the fifth overall pick in 1999 and spent three years with the Saints before being traded to the Dolphins.

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