Ricky Williams will sit out another season.
The NFL suspended the troubled Miami Dolphins running back for one year yesterday after he violated the league's substance abuse policy for the fourth time.
Williams met April 10 with NFL counsel Jeff Pash in an attempt to have the league overturn the test. He had been participating in the offseason training program at the Dolphins' complex, and he was there working out shortly before the league announced that his appeal had been rejected.
''I'm disappointed with the decision, but I respect it," the 2002 NFL rushing champion said in a statement released by the team. ''I'm proud of my association with the National Football League and look forward to returning to the Dolphins in 2007."
Williams also sat out the 2004 season after retiring shortly before training camp. He returned last year to play for new Miami coach Nick Saban.
Williams's previous positive drug tests were for marijuana, which he acknowledged using. The latest test apparently involved a substance other than marijuana. Since his return last season, the NFL required Williams to undergo drug tests up to 10 times a month. He was in India studying yoga when news of his latest failed test surfaced in February.
Williams served a four-game suspension at the start of the 2005 season for his third violation of the drug program, then ran for 743 yards and averaged 4.4 yards a carry.
Saban repeatedly has praised Williams's conduct and performance last season and supported him in the appeal process.
''This is a league decision, and we are disappointed in what it means for Ricky and the team," Saban said in a statement.
The suspension represents a financial blow for Williams, who owes the Dolphins $8.6 million for breaching his contract when he retired in 2004. His return last season was motivated partly by the need for a paycheck, and that may be a reason for him to return in 2007.
ESPN.com, citing anonymous team and league sources, said Favre informed Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy of his decision in a telephone conversation yesterday morning.
Calls by the Associated Press to Thompson, McCarthy, team president Bob Harlan, and Favre's agent, James ''Bus" Cook, were not immediately returned.
Worries about Favre's future have become an annual rite of winter for Packers fans, as the quarterback has contemplated retirement during the past several offseasons -- only to return each time. This year apparently was no different.
As the Packers' season slid toward a 4-12 finish, the team's only losing season under Favre, the three-time NFL MVP said repeatedly he wasn't sure he would come back for a 16th season.