Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez is a vocal supporter of the decision by the NFL and players’ union to subject players to blood tests for human growth hormone, saying he’s sure some players are using, and suspects it’s a lot of players.
“How many guys are on it, that’s hard to say,” Gonzalez told the Indianapolis Star. “It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it’s too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don’t add up; they don’t look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they’re in the NFL and they look totally different. I don’t know how prevalent it is at this point, but to say that it’s not being used, that’s wrong.”
Even an estimate of 100 players using HGH would be low compared to what some unnamed players told Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com, which is that 10 percent to 20 percent of NFL players are using HGH. If 20 percent of the league is on HGH, that would work out to 10 or 11 for every 53-man roster, or more than 300 in the NFL as a whole.
Gonzalez says that before the agreement to test for HGH, players figured they were much more likely to gain an advantage from using the substance than they were to get caught.
“To think it [HGH] isn’t out there is really ignorant when you consider what can be gained by it with very little risk of getting caught,” Gonzalez said. “Before testing, the only way you got caught was if you were arrested with it or ended up on a supplier list.”
Although the exact details of HGH testing still need to be worked out by the NFL and the NFLPA, both sides agree that randomly selected players will be subjected to surprise blood tests during the season. The NFL is the only American sports league that has such testing.