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Goodell confirms NFL will insist on HGH testing

Bears Vikings Football AP

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.”

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35 Responses to “Goodell confirms NFL will insist on HGH testing”
  1. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 12:29 PM

    They won’t cheat, they are your partners Goodell. Come on now!

  2. bobwhitequail says: Apr 4, 2011 12:29 PM

    Guys, I think this whole CBA issue’s cause is really simple and comes down to psychology.

    Owners:

    1) Jerry Jones and a few owners cannot stand profit sharing among owners. Rich teams such as the Cowboys have to help hold up poor teams. Business ethics prevent owners from opening their books to each other much less to employees.

    2) Their way to deal with the problem is to keep the profit sharing in place, but get a better deal that puts more money in profitable owner’s pockets.

    Players:

    1) Every time players have sued, Judge Doty (and his former NFLPA law clerk who didmost of the work) sided with the players. So players stick with what works. That is why they are suing now, they think they have a much better chance via lawsuit than via negotiation.

    A possible solution:

    The NFL could “negotiate” a fair agreement with a committee of former players only. This is a paper agreement that sets wage scale, retirement benefits, etc. and has no buy-in from current or future players. It is the NFL saying “here is the best deal we can live with and we worked with multiple retired players to make it fair”. For credibility there has to be respected former players on the committee. The current players will be against it obviously.

    Then the league hires scab players to get the 2011 season started. The NFL makes it clear that this is how football will work from now on. There is no union so they don’t have to satisfy any kind of CBA. Any current or future NFL player is invited to play football according to the new agreement. Many players will quickly jump on board (the ones who need cash) while players that have managed their money well will hold out.

    By 2012 everything would normalize and a few of the scab players will be discovered by NFL teams and stick around but the vast majority will be regular NFL players. A good deal will be in place that will set the stage for the future and all will return to normal. We’ll have football in 2011 (although a lower quality product), players will get paid for playing, and owners will be happy (until Jerry Jones starts whining again 4 years from now ha ha).

    Do you think this would work?

  3. hobartbaker says: Apr 4, 2011 12:33 PM

    Roger doesn’t want a whole generation of kids growing up looking like Cam Newton. Rightfully so.

  4. angrycorgi says: Apr 4, 2011 12:36 PM

    I would love for this website to address a topic that seems taboo everywhere. The supposed 9 billion in estimated “revenue” is a gross figure. IOW, that does not account for any deductions due to any operating expenses. The electric bill at Cwoboys Stadium is $200k/month. Merchandise sales also only take into account gross sales, not factoring in investment. For instance. If it costs $40 to create, market and sell a $100 jersey, the $40 is not being taken OUT of the figure before it is heaped onto the $9 billion pile. The players want HALF of the pre-costs/pre-operating-expense income. That is insane to say the least. Oh, and they want it based on a projection. When the actual amount at the end of the year is HIGHER than the projections, they want part of the EXCESS. When the actual amount at the end of the year is LOWER that the projections, they don’t want to share in the LOSS! And they call themselves “partners”. Sounds like contractors to me.

  5. hawkeye6 says: Apr 4, 2011 12:43 PM

    I think all these minor points of contention are just nuances that deflect attention from the major CBA bargaining centerpiece. The total revenue distribution.

    All this other stuff can be decided upon from both sides in about 10 minutes.

  6. myeaglescantwin says: Apr 4, 2011 12:46 PM

    now i know i am definitely in the minority here, but I really dont care about NFL drug use. Yeah these guys are bum cheaters but the NFL 21-game season is killing these guys.. hgh is used as a healing drug for some of these dudes that are 30+

    All these NFL juicers have been using since highschool. I believe that they should definitely boost the drug testing in college and during the recruitment. These guys should have to pass several test before even getting a scholarship from these schools. U gonna tell me guys like cushings and Merriman are were clean in college? highly doubt that.

    I played for a big time high school (lol) and the players that were on the juice were the ones going to big schools. i know they didnt just stop using when they left HS. if anything the usage must have increased at the next level. If they can take the drugs out of college. they have a real shot to cancel it out of the pros.

  7. grpatriot says: Apr 4, 2011 12:47 PM

    Now that 18 game season is off the board, look for this to become the next bargaining chip…
    Maybe differ the test a couple of years or until the test can be done using urine?

  8. burntorangehorn says: Apr 4, 2011 12:55 PM

    HGH testing should’ve been in place years ago. It shouldn’t take looming labor breakdowns to get players to agree to a league-wide ban on substance-based cheating.

  9. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 12:55 PM

    @ angrycorgi

    The players want half of $8 Billion. 1 Billion comes off the top and is given to the owners before the calculation. The owners want another billion on top of that leaving the players w/ half of 7 billion. So that’s 3.5 billion that the players can possibly make. It’s a cap they’re negotiating and not a floor and most teams don’t utilize the whole cap which is there perogative. I’d be more inclined to agree w/ the owners if the players were asking for an outrageous percentage to be the payroll floor. But each owner should be fiscally responsible to only pay what they can afford.

  10. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:00 PM

    The players should give in here. It would look bad if they protested too much on blood testing since this is common practice in other sports organizations (olympics, etc).
    Although, taking HGH out would hurt the game. People like humans in baseball but we love genetic freaks in football. No one cares when someone tests positive for roids in football. Who wants to go back to the days of 280 pound linemen who can’t run the 40 under 5?

  11. thevikes85 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:00 PM

    James Harrison is about to lose a lot more money,maybe we should start the college fund back up for his poor kids?

  12. airraid77 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:02 PM

    this is where the owners are playing games, like the 18 schedule, imo its another leverage point to bring the players to see it the owners way.
    18 game is not going to happen, wouldnt be surprised if this doesnt happen.
    What i would like to see the players do is negotiate the process of who decides the fine and reasons…..
    goodells power as sole judge and jury of player behavior.
    and if the players hate the new rules on safety, negotiate that……..

  13. buckybadger says: Apr 4, 2011 1:06 PM

    @bobwhitequail, sorry but you can’t expect the current players to let a bunch of people who aren’t playing anymore to negotiate a deal. The former player can be represented but its ridiculous to think the current players should allow former ones to do their negotiating. Would you let a former employer negotiate your pay?

  14. airraid77 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:06 PM

    bukes111
    the players dont contribute one thing to the NFL in dollars…..They are paid for their services. Nobody is holding a gun to their heads.
    When the buisness owner no longer has the right to pay his employees whatever he deems necessary, We are no longer a free nation………

  15. buckybadger says: Apr 4, 2011 1:07 PM

    As for HGH testing this needs to implemented. If both sides are really concerned about player safety this is a no brainer. The size of these guys will go down about 5-10% but I guarantee injuries go down as well. Don’t worry fans the collisions will still be violent.

  16. cappa662 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:10 PM

    So that Pats will go 0-16 this year without it. Rodney Harrison’s influenced the young guys who are now vets.

  17. Deb says: Apr 4, 2011 1:13 PM

    Yes, angricorgi, let’s talk about billions in revenues owners pull from stadium palaces largely funded by taxpayers. Players don’t touch those. Let’s talk about revenues they pull for eternity from throwback jerseys, DVDs, NFL Network airings of NFL Follies and Top Tens featuring retired players who’ve lost rights to their names and images.

    Yep, let’s talk about the whole enchilada.

    The relationship between owners and players is like that of authors and publishers. Publishers absorb all costs of bringing books to print and authors receive a percentage of revenues. The more revenue an author can generate, the more that author can negotiate.

    Without authors, publishers have no product. Without publishers, authors can’t market their product. The relationship is mutually dependent– not a partnership in the traditional sense.

  18. goforthanddie says: Apr 4, 2011 1:26 PM

    1-Yes, it should be part of testing.
    2-I can see where players would have a reasonable issue with blood tests. If it can’t be accurately done w/ a urine test, the owners will have to wait.
    3-Talking about HGH is a waste of time. Everyone knows the issue is money, settle that first.

  19. Deb says: Apr 4, 2011 1:29 PM

    If Goodell wants to factor HGH testing into the CBA, then he needs to start with his least favorite subject: data.

    We know steroids create long-term health risks for players. Is there similar data on HGH? Can the league provide independent research showing currently available testing produces fair, accurate, timely results distinguishing HGH from legal supplements?

    If no to those questions, then no to testing.

  20. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:30 PM

    @ airraid77

    It’s a cap. In 2009, the Bucs were more than $40 million under the cap. No one’s forcing the owners to pay the full cap amount so they do have control over what they pay there players.
    Now if the players were asking for a payroll floor so high that would kill the margins of some of the small market owners, I would absolutely agree with you.
    But they’re not, they’re making rules to protect themselves from there own individual spending.

  21. slangbang says: Apr 4, 2011 1:32 PM

    Yeah HGH does wonders..

    I took HGH for one cycle and I turned into a monster…

    Gave me a sick base.. I believe that everyone should be allowed to take what ever roids they wanted..

  22. dansnydersux says: Apr 4, 2011 1:42 PM

    “The integrity of the NFL is critical,” Goodell said,

    Did anyone else laugh upon seeing the words “integrity” and “NFL” in the same sentence?

  23. angrycorgi says: Apr 4, 2011 2:00 PM

    @bukes

    The problem there is that the NFL already offered a cash floor of essentially $127 million per team for the first year. That is essentially $4.06 Billion (floor) and a maximum of $4.51 Billion (cap). The players said it was “the worst deal in the history of sports”. Half of $8 Billion = $4 Billion. The owners offered a MINIMUM of OVER half. While the owners originally wanted to take $2 Billion off the top, they have come down off that. If the players can’t be happy with 51%-56% (depending on individual team spending tendencies), then what does make them happy? Sounds like they no longer want 59% of the NET…now they seem to want 59% of the GROSS!!

  24. airraid77 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:19 PM

    @angrycorgi
    That is exactly what they want. half of gross income…..which means that if jj had built his stadium in 2013?….whatever financing he got, would have needed to be double…….if not more, to build it…..which essentially smith is bargaining his union out of their jobs.

  25. saberstud75 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:21 PM

    If HGH testing is passed expect Randy Moss and T.O.’s performance to drop off a cliff.

  26. airraid77 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:23 PM

    bukes111,
    which the owners have every right to do.
    the bucs by actual dollar spent were more than 60 million dollars under the cap.
    Start a buisness with parameters that the union has with the owners? you would be out of buisness in a week. not to mention no bank would give you the loan.

  27. goodguyjohn says: Apr 4, 2011 2:42 PM

    I think a very high percentage of the league’s elite players on using HGH. If the tests are done properly this could really cripple the teams wrought with HGH abusers.

    I would love to see the NFL send out testing squads unnannounced and do drop-in/random testing. The results would be devastating.

    No way the NFLPA* would allow that though.

  28. blackshirtz says: Apr 4, 2011 3:06 PM

    I’m all for it. I think this is very progressive thinking. I would HATE the NFL to get the reputation that MLB has.

    Let’s get it out of the game. Call it a rule for player safety.

  29. bigperm33 says: Apr 4, 2011 3:07 PM

    RED HERRING RED HERRING! The NFl and Goodell don’t care about this.

    They care about public relations and they know fans will want HGH testing and the players wont. It helps get the fans on their side. If the NFL and Goodell really cared about this, why didnt we hear one word about it until after the lockout? We heard for months they wanted 18 games, rookie wage scale, a larger piece of the pie, etc. Nothing about HGH testing. Until now when all they can do during the lockout until the courts weigh in is play the PR game.

    Also, Goodell doesnt mention of course that there is no reliable test for HGH. Until there is, there wont be HGH testing.

    I dont want the players using HGH and I want to see a deal get done. But i am sick and tired of the league and Goodell and the owners lying over and over about what it is they want and why they want it. Just like Goodell lied about why the league wanted 18 games (he said because the fans want it, but it is only a way to make even more money), he is lying now about wanting HGH testing (he says he cares about integrity of the game, but that is nothing more than a bargaining ploy by the commissioner).

    I have to that Goodell is such a shill for the owners and so willing to say and do anything he can to make sure the owners get their way, he was willing to say that his sport has a worse performing enhancing drug problem than baseball did. Seems like a shocking thing for a commissioner to say until you realize that he is just a clueless man being led around by the nose by the owners who will say and do anything to get their way.

  30. j0esixpack says: Apr 4, 2011 3:44 PM

    This is a good sign… the NFL is telling the NFLPA* that they’ll insist on the players making “concession” that’s meaningless

    HGH testing is toothless and the players have no reason to refuse… yet can use this as a negotiating tool and “concession” to the NFL

    The NFL of course knows they’d have to “give” something to the players in return – so it’s basically Goodell giving the NFLPA a “free” concession – that hopefully might help move everyone closer to an agreement.

  31. thefiesty1 says: Apr 4, 2011 4:21 PM

    If the players want all the owners money from stadium palace, etc. They need to become owners instead of blowing their money on bling, cars and multiple women.

  32. Deb says: Apr 4, 2011 4:41 PM

    So you guys are giving me thumbs down for saying HGH testing should be contingent upon evidence that HGH is unsafe and current testing will provide accurate results? Well, that makes perfect sense. You pro-owner types are sooo logical :roll:

    @thefiesty1 …

    The players have never asked for any money from the stadium palaces. The point is that people keep whining because the owners have to pay all the expenses of the game and the players none. Duh … the owners’ role is to bring the entertainment to the public and the players’ role is to be the entertainment. The owners’ also currently take $1 billion off the top before revenues are divided to pay their expenses.

  33. stairwayto7 says: Apr 4, 2011 5:02 PM

    Goodell should say these are the rules and if you do not like it do not play! The NFL wil find people who wil abide by the rules set and will get paid! To the owners, if you do not like rules, I will find an owner in another city and make a franchise there!

  34. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 5:04 PM

    @ angrycorgi

    The price floor that the NFL offered was good and I don’t think the player’s association had an issue with that specific component of the proposal.
    As for the cap, D. Smith contends that 44% of the revenue would go to the players and the percentage would continually decline. By year 6, that number would be 40%. Is he being completely forthright? No idea, each side is obviously going to spin there proposals. But it does sound like there is more fixed money as opposed to percentages involved in the formula that the NFL is proposing.

    @ airraid77
    I wasn’t slamming the Bucs at all. I agree that the Bucs should be allowed to reduce costs. My argument is that the CAP doesn’t force the owner’s hands. Now a higher cap may increase individual price of better players in the league because it lets the market determine the price of players but it doesn’t apply to your quote “When the buisness owner no longer has the right to pay his employees whatever he deems necessary, We are no longer a free nation”. A high salary floor corresponds to your quote than the cap.
    Don’t get me wrong, I believe in a cap and the NFL would be destroyed without one. But with all this talk of the players wanting 50-59%, it makes it sound like the owners are giving the money to De. Smith and he’s devying it to all of the players. If costs are really spiraling out of control, payrolls should be closer to the floor than it is to the cap and that’s not the case.

  35. paperlions says: Apr 4, 2011 5:22 PM

    HGH testing is a waste of time. There is not an effective HGH test available; the currently touted one has never caught a single player in any sport…ever. It is a waste of time and money to pay WADA to run tests that don’t work.
    .
    In addition, HGH has no performance enhancing effect on healthy adults. None. Instead of wasting money on useless tests, the NFL would be better served by educating its players/teams/agents on facts related to HGH so that player quit wasting their money (and possibly their health) using HGH….assuming anyone actually bothers to use it….considering the vast amount of available science that demonstrates that it does nothing for people with normal GH levels.

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