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Report: NFL will insist on HGH testing in next labor deal

hgh-slow-aging-1 Getty Images

Well, the worst deal in the history of sports eventually will get even worse.

At a time when NFL players face no testing for any type of performance-enhancing substances because they have been locked out, the league will insist that the next labor deal includes testing for Human Growth Hormone, according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.

“We want it.  We think it’s necessary,” Adolpho Birch, who runs the league’s drug-testing policies, told Marvez.  “We’re going to ensure that it’s done.  That’s something very important to us and the integrity of our game.  We believe some of the basis for going slowly on it before has been addressed.  At this point, it’s proper for it to be an active part of our program.”

No urine test has been developed for HGH, and the NFLPA (under the late Gene Upshaw) has expressed resistance to the prospect of blood testing.

If the league is so concerned about the integrity of the game, the league should expedite efforts to resolve the current labor impasse so that testing of players may resume.  Men who are faced with the prospect of rehabbing injuries on their own will be tempted to use banned substances to speed the healing process and/or to build or maintain muscle mass.  As long as they stop and purge the proof from their systems before testing resumes, they’ll never face punishment.

Though we’re not saying the league should end the lockout for the sole purpose of resurrecting drug testing, we definitely believe that the league should find a way to continue talks, regardless of the label that applies to the discussions.  Instead, it appears that the league’s dream team of outside lawyers has persuaded the league to hold firm through April 6, given the perception that the players have only one bullet in their litigation rifle — and that if the motion to lift the lockout fails, it’ll only be a matter of time before the players cave.

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46 Responses to “Report: NFL will insist on HGH testing in next labor deal”
  1. stairwayto7 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:14 PM

    No football in 2011! That means the Packers can’t get their Super Bowl rings! CLASSIC!

  2. chapnastier says: Mar 24, 2011 7:15 PM

    The players will say this isn’t fair either. Takes away their edge.

  3. apac6586 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:16 PM

    They should have to take drug tests. Every single one of them should be subject to getting tested. If they get cheat, they should be punished. Period.

  4. mick730 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:17 PM

    Let me get this straight; the NFL owners feel compelled to test their “partners” for all sorts of illegal drug and substance abuse?

    “Partners”. That’s funny.

  5. brownsfn says: Mar 24, 2011 7:20 PM

    All I have to say is… GOOD I am sick of cheaters…

  6. charly0418 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:22 PM

    Well, see you all in 2012

  7. dabigbangclock says: Mar 24, 2011 7:26 PM

    Does anyone think this a real big deal in the NFL? I don’t have a problem with guys taking HGH if it helps them recover from injuries quicker, they are in brutal collisions every Sunday. Instead of creating more issues to drive the sides apart the NFL should be focusing on coming closer to an agreement.

  8. r8drn8tn says: Mar 24, 2011 7:28 PM

    I think the entire HGH/steriod issue in sports is way overblown. The BS scare from 20 years ago has been thoroughly debunked. There are many positive benefits and very little negative side effects if done properly.

    Professional sports should begin allowing limited uses of HGH or steroids to help players rehab from injuries and perform at higher levels.

  9. fordwuzanazi says: Mar 24, 2011 7:30 PM

    Been waiting on this one to drop. There were stories being leaked during and after the season before all this labor crap started to go down about questionable testing procedures and player usage. Owners open your books, players open your bodies! And make a deal.

  10. rpiotr01 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:35 PM

    I’m pretty pro-league in this whole thing but there’s no way I’m handing a blood sample over to my boss either, and that’s just a matter of principle. Pee is bad enough.

  11. inandywetrust2011 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:39 PM

    I wonder if this could be the NFL threatening to do this, in the hope that the players settle, without this provision. hmmmmmm

  12. frankvzappa says: Mar 24, 2011 7:40 PM

    so much for Clay Matthews being a star

  13. henryjones20 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:42 PM

    wait a minute!! Barry Bonds wasnt the only one on HGH?? OMG!!! as mark mcguire giggles in the cardinals clubhouse as a hitting coach now! HAHAHA

  14. bigtrav425 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:44 PM

    HGH is NOT a bad thing! People just need to read up on it and all its about and able to do

  15. pervyharvin says: Mar 24, 2011 7:46 PM

    Does this mean Clay Matthews will have to become a kicker??

  16. tcdun says: Mar 24, 2011 7:49 PM

    Who are they going to negotiate a new CBA with ??? As we know the union decertified and since it was a real decertification and not a sham we know the union will never form again. :) Yeah right !

  17. scytherius says: Mar 24, 2011 7:49 PM

    Yes, but will the Owners submit to an IQ test?

  18. commandercornpone says: Mar 24, 2011 7:52 PM

    well if your “partner” “cheated”, u might get mad too.

    besides, what employer wants to pay a druggie employee a single dime?

  19. buckeyefan1026 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:56 PM

    Drug testing for HGH? So even if they do settle and get the season under way, we still won’t have a season since half the league will be suspended.

  20. garyman1 says: Mar 24, 2011 7:56 PM

    I always wondered why baseball had so many more steroid/HGH issues than football. I now know the answer….because they don’t test for it. Look at football players and baseball players…which group do you think does more steroids/HGH ?

  21. miamiron says: Mar 24, 2011 8:04 PM

    some people posting here should be subject
    to drug testing

  22. crubenst says: Mar 24, 2011 8:04 PM

    I never understood why improved drug testing was always viewed as anti-player. Last I checked doping up your body was unhealthy and probably adds to the overall bad health of retired players. Most of them use because they’re afraid the next guy is using and they don’t want to fall behind. If they all agree to get rid of it they’ll all be better off in the long run. If I’m a player I’m demanding HGH testing.

  23. sportsjustice says: Mar 24, 2011 8:04 PM

    That man in the picture looks like a Kenny Mayne and Jay Bilas love child.

  24. FinFan68 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:05 PM

    The players should embrace a robust drug testing program. It should help discourage any of their competition from trying to gain an edge the lazy way. The better the program, the fewer the cheaters. If they don’t want an actual (no notice) program, it begs the question, “Why?” The league should just mandate that any form of medicine, cream, supplement, etc. should be authorized by the league before consumption. The only “liability” from legit claims would lie with a civil suit against the company that made the “tainted” product that caused their future positive tests. No more BS appeal excuses with about a 1 in 1 billion chance of being true.

  25. gbfanforever says: Mar 24, 2011 8:05 PM

    Brett Favre is now officially retired

  26. tremoluxman says: Mar 24, 2011 8:13 PM

    I would then suggest that the NFL should be required to provide a list of all banned substances and all approved supplements to all players. I would also require teams to prominently post the same list in their locker rooms and to review the list at least twice a year with players at team meetings.
    If a banned substance is not listed among the ingredients of a league-approved supplement, then a player can not be disciplined for violating the banned substance rule. The reverse holds true, too. If a player uses a banned substance on the official NFL list, then he faces discipline.

  27. b7p19 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:19 PM

    Banning HGH and other strength supplements will do more to ensure player safety than anything they are trying to do now.

  28. b7p19 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:23 PM

    The bigger and faster these guys get the harder the contact will be. Ban it and you’ll see a reduction in the brutal injuries we’ve been seeing this century.

  29. lasher1650 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:23 PM

    uh-oh

  30. gotti11 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:24 PM

    Looks like James Harrison and his steroid-brow might lose their edge if this goes through.

  31. voyager6 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:24 PM

    Just think how many players are juicing right now since there isn’t random drug testing during the lockout!

  32. dixon29 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:26 PM

    How could this possibly not be illegal already? If the owners and players are truly worried about the safety of the players the best way is to make sure that the players aren’t all juiced up on HGH.

    HGH in baseball became such a huge deal and all that it did was cause guys to hit the baseball a little further. In the NFL these guys could kill somebody because they are so strong due to the HGH.

    A $9 billion a year industry and no one realizes that HGH should be illegal? Really???

  33. smellmyface says: Mar 24, 2011 8:40 PM

    Test for thc too. I know many jobs make you pass a drug test before and during employment. See how the players feel then when half of them are suspended.

  34. hobartbaker says: Mar 24, 2011 8:55 PM

    Spinach!

  35. jfrogwi says: Mar 24, 2011 9:09 PM

    I’m all for it. A random blood draw is not too much to ask of the players to maintain the integrity of the game. If the players don’t like it, they can find someplace to earn a paycheck.

    If it’s really so bad that half the league gets suspended (which I don’t believe), I’m okay with that too.

  36. bigperm33 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:48 PM

    This is a ploy by the NFL – there is NO test for HGH yet. What they have is a test that is not completely reliable. I am all for doing all that you can to ensure there is no HGH, steroids, etc in the NFL. But there is no test yet.

    The NFL knows, however, that the 1) the public will be for this, 2) the players will be against it. It allows them to have this issue they don’t really care about to help get the fans on their side and make the players look bad.

    There is one question I have for the NFL – if this isn’t just a ploy, if you really care about HGH testing, why wasn’t this mentioned before? Why wait until now when each side is at each other’s throats to mention HGH testing? It is a ploy and I am so sick and tired of the NFL and the owners. Nothing they do or say can be taken at face value. If I were the players, I’d have no faith in what the owners/the league says. I wouldn’t believe one word out of their mouths ever.

  37. cobaltdriver says: Mar 24, 2011 10:26 PM

    Does this mean Clay Matthews will have to become a kicker??

    Does this mean Jared Allen goes on Dancing with the rednecks?

  38. cobaltdriver says: Mar 24, 2011 10:28 PM

    so much for Clay Matthews being a star

    and jared allen….

  39. realfann says: Mar 24, 2011 10:34 PM

    If a player gets hurt and is placed on injured reserve and can’t play for the rest of the season, what exactly is wrong with him taking HGH to speed his recovery?

    Let me put it another way, if you were in hospital and were offered HGH as a way to get better and home quicker, would you take it or would you consider that to be unethical/illegal/unfair?

  40. realitypolice says: Mar 24, 2011 10:45 PM

    HGH is not a steroid.

    You don’t get “juiced up” on HGH.

    HGH doesn’t make a young athlete bigger or stronger, or make a baseball player hit the ball farther.

    When athletes talk about “juicing” they aren’t talking about HGH. They are talking about Anabolic Steriods.

    HGH is intended for use by older people (40+) whose bodies have slowed down hormone production. It is primarily used as hormone replacement to slow down aging.

    A young person whose body is producing all of the growth hormone it can use will not benefit from HGH therapy, with the possible, but not proven, exception of injury recovery time.

    If the only real benefit of HGH is injury recovery, why is it illegal? Players use dozens of different substances to aid in injury recovery.

    Also, there are no proven long term side effects of doctor supervised HGH therapy.

    Blood testing for HGH is unreliable, time consuming and extremely expensive.

    So, yeah, it’s a great idea to hold up the next CBA over this incredibly important issue.

  41. mrpotatoehead says: Mar 24, 2011 11:07 PM

    Pervy I could have sworn two Vikings already got caught using peds…. Maybe I’m wrong, or the supreme court overturned it…

  42. txchief says: Mar 24, 2011 11:58 PM

    All the uninformed posting that HGH and other (supposedly) performance enhancing drugs have ABSOLUTELY NO KNOWLEDGE of what they speak beyond some non-professional website. I am a physician and can attest that HGH and anabolic steroids have serious, potentially deadly long term side effects. These substances are dangerous and are highly controlled for very good reasons.

  43. realfootballfan says: Mar 25, 2011 2:42 AM

    They’re really trying to wreck their game, huh? First the lockout, now this asinine request.

    Testing for HGH is going to only open up a whole new can of worms, including putting the spotlight on squeaky clean heroes of the game like Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, and Brett Favre who I’m sure all have done something illegal to aid their performance.

    The NFL doesn’t have the image problem of MLB, so why rattle the cage? Just leave it alone, Goodell.

  44. joepags says: Mar 25, 2011 8:52 AM

    they shouldnt have to wait for contract talks to test for ANY illegal substances!!! all sports should test, regardless!!

  45. oldbyrd says: Mar 25, 2011 8:59 AM

    Its the right thing to do. Lets face it some guys don’t care what the consequences of anything that they take is. Makes the guys who say “be healthy and do it naturally in the weight room” if I don’t do enhancers I loose my job. This is about the right thing.

  46. Deb says: Mar 25, 2011 10:14 PM

    They can’t test if when there is no reliable test.

    And why does that guy cobaltdriver keep insisting he’s a Bears fan when all he does is sniff around the Packers?

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