ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry, the league's leading rusher, is trying to prevent the NFL from suspending him over the results of a drug test, Newsday reported Thursday.
Henry was granted a temporary restraining order in Suffolk County (N.Y.) Supreme Court to prevent the league from using a urine specimen against him and to prevent the league from disclosing the test results, but an appellate court vacated the order, according to court papers filed in Brooklyn federal court.
The report on the newspaper's Web site said Henry claims the league violated its substance abuse policy by not allowing his experts to be present for testing of his urine sample, according to court papers.
The league wants the matter transferred to federal court because it involves interpretation of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, generally covered by federal labor laws.
Pending an appeal, Henry would be subject to a yearlong suspension if he tested positive again. While in Tennessee, Henry was suspended four games in September 2005 by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
He signed a five-year, $22.5 million free agent contract with the Broncos that included $12 million in guarantees this offseason after the Titans released him in a cost-cutting move and the Broncos sent last year's starter, Tatum Bell, to Detroit.
The Broncos declined comment Thursday.
"Have to refer you to the League, we have no comment," general manager Ted Sundquist told The Associated Press in response to an e-mail inquiry about a report on Denver's KDVR-TV that Henry had tested positive for marijuana.
A league spokesman said the NFL had no comment.
Henry, who injured his right knee and right ankle in a loss at Indianapolis on Sunday, has not practiced this week nor has he been available to reporters. His agent, Hadley Engelhard, didn't return messages left by the AP, nor did Henry's lawyer, Robert Dapelo.
Henry, who started his career with the Buffalo Bills, is the centerpiece of Denver's revamped offense.
The Broncos had hoped he could be their first workhorse running back since Clinton Portis in 2003, and he got off to a fantastic start, rushing for 433 yards and one touchdown over the first month. He also caught five passes for 52 yards.
Henry's backup is undrafted rookie Selvin Young out of Texas, who has rushed 15 times for 138 yards and a league-best 9.2-yard average. The Broncos might move second-year pro Mike Bell back to tailback if Henry isn't available. Bell was moved to fullback last month.