MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Vikings released running back Onterrio Smith on Wednesday after he was suspended by the NFL for the entire 2005 season for a substance abuse violation..

“We’ve decided to terminate Onterrio Smith’s contract ahead of this weekend’s college draft,” head coach Brad Childress said in a statement issued by the team. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Smith played for the Vikings during the 2003 and 2004 seasons before he was suspended. The one-year suspension, which expires June 7, came weeks after he was caught at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with several vials of dried urine and “The Original Whizzinator,” which is marketed as a way to beat drug tests.

It was his third violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

In two seasons, he started nine games and rushed for a total of 1.123 yards, a 4.9 average and seven touchdowns.

AP-ES-04-26-06 1738EDT