The NFL wants to implement HGH testing before the start of the regular season. The regular season starts in only 13 days.
So what’s the status of the talks regarding HGH testing?
Per the Associated Press, the two sides remain at impasse as to the particulars of the testing procedures.
The new CBA states that HGH testing will be conducted annually and also on a random basis. The NFL is pushing to get the testing protocol in place, and the union is resisting. The sticking point is the procedures that will be used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said that WADA “demonstrated to our satisfaction that there is very sound science and very thoughtful testing protocols” at a recent meeting in Montreal.
The NFLPA doesn’t share that view. “We have never shied away from the fact that that needs to be tested,” Broncos safety and NFLPA Executive Committee member Brian Dawkins said. “But it’s just doing it the right way and going about it in not such an invasive way.”
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah was more specific. “The documents WADA gave us were not adequate at all,” Atallah told Juliet Macur of the New York Times. “And we’re not going to implement another person’s test without looking at the scientific documents ourselves. We’re disappointed in the lack of transparency on WADA’s part.”
WADA officials aren’t pleased with that. “We gave them all the information,” WADA’s director general David Howman recently told Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “The scientists in the room were all satisfied. . . . It’s a very robust test and very conservatively applied.”
More pointedly, Howman said that the players are taking “a very strange approach” if they truly want the sport to be clean.
Suddenly, this standoff reminds us of the union’s position that no new CBA could be negotiated without comprehensive financial information. Eventually, it was.
As a result, it’s hard to put much credence in yet another potentially hollow request for necessary documentation that, in the end, really won’t be necessary at all.