When it comes to testing players for human growth hormone, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says there’s no room for debate: HGH tests have to be part of the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The integrity of the NFL is critical,” Goodell said, per Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun. “We have to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to have the best drug program in sports. Making changes to our program is critical. We have done that over the years and we have to do more, including the inclusion of HGH testing.”
Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com previously reported that the league would insist on HGH testing, and Goodell’s latest comments confirm that the league believes it’s time to add HGH testing to the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
However, it remains to be seen how hard the players will fight such testing. Scientists still haven’t developed reliable urine testing for HGH, and the players say they’re opposed to any requirement that they have blood drawn to be tested for illicit substances.
In that respect, the players in the NFL differ from the players in the Canadian Football League. As Albert Breer of NFL Network reported, the CFL players have been fully supportive of that league’s performance-enhancing drug testing program, which includes blood testing for HGH.
For his part, Goodell says testing for HGH is the only way for the league to stay ahead of cheaters.
“We would be naïve to think that people aren’t going to cheat the system,” Goodell said. “But we have to have the best drug testing program to be able to offset it.”