In this April 18, 1999 file photo, New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick Ricky Williams, left, checks out his New Orleans Saints jersey as coach Mike Ditka, wearing a dreadlock wig, looks on in Kenner, La. The Saints traded all of their draft picks in 1999 and their first- and third-round picks in 2000 to Washington to get the Heisman Trophy winner. (AP Photo/File)

In this April 18, 1999 file photo, New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick Ricky Williams, left, checks out his New Orleans Saints jersey as coach Mike Ditka, wearing a dreadlock wig, looks on in Kenner, La. The Saints traded all of their draft picks in 1999 and their first- and third-round picks in 2000 to Washington to get the Heisman Trophy winner. (AP Photo/File)

NEW YORK (AP) _ Former running back Ricky Williams says he went through “at least 500” drug tests during his 11-year NFL career.

The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner at Texas and first-round draft pick by New Orleans in ’99 tells Sports Illustrated in a film released on SI.com on Wednesday that he “might have the world record for most times drug tested.”

Williams, who also played for Miami and Baltimore, sat out the 2006 season while suspended by the league for violating the substance abuse policy.

Ricky’s wife, Kristin, outlines in the film how lax NFL testing standards were, including when a tester left the samples at the Williamses’ house to go get stickers for identifying them.

“He left for 45 minutes and then came back with the stickers he needed,” she says, adding some of the drug testers were “like family.”

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Ricky Williams (AP Photo/File)

In the film, entitled “Ricky Williams Takes the High Road” (http://on.si.com/29y5LUA ), Williams also discusses the prevalence of marijuana use in the NFL today, and its potential as a medicinal tool.

Williams retired before the 2004 season after failing a drug test for the third time. He returned to the Dolphins in 2005, then sat out 2006 after a fourth failed drug test.

He played four more seasons with the Dolphins and finished his career with one season in Baltimore, 2011.

Williams has become an entrepreneur in the marijuana industry and campaigns for its legalization throughout the United States.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

 

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