Members of the United States Congress continue to pressure the NFL and the NFLPA to implement HGH testing sooner rather than later.
According to the Associated Press, leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have invited NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to a meeting regarding the issue.
“We believe the league and its players remain best positioned to implement an HGH testing regime, but concerns have been raised about the status of these efforts,” Darrell Issa (R-Cal.; pictured) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) said in letters to Goodell and Smith. “The purpose of this meeting is to understand the concerns of the players and the league and to strongly convey our universal interest in protecting the health of millions of younger athletes across the country.”
Though the NFL and the NFLPA have agreed in their new labor deal that HGH testing will be implemented this year, the union has declined to accept the testing program proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The invitation to meet follows multiple letters expressing concern regarding the absence of HGH testing. Eventually, a hearing could be held regarding the situation. At some point, legislation could be introduced to compel the NFL to surrender all or part of the control over its drug-testing program to the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Thus, in time, Congress may foist upon the NFL and NFLPA that which the NFL and WADA are trying to persuade the NFLPA to do.
And that may be the only way the NFLPA ever submits to HGH testing. There’s currently speculation in league circles that the players simply don’t want to engage in blood testing for HGH, and that the official commencement of a blood testing program at the agreement of NFLPA leadership could result in a change in NFLPA leadership as of March 2012, when Smith’s three-year contract expires.