Union confirms that it will visit with Congress on HGH

Getty Images

Last month, two members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee invited NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to attend a meeting for the purposes of discussing the ongoing delay in the implementation of HGH testing.  The league promptly accepted the invitation; the NFLPA was mum on the question of whether it would attend.

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reported earlier today that the two sides will indeed visit with Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Friday.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah has confirmed to PFT in a telephone interview that the union has agreed to attend.

News of the meeting comes a day after reports surfaced of a letter signed by nearly two dozen scientists and lab directors endorsing the current HGH test for use by the NFL.

“This further demonstrates that there is simply no excuse for delaying the start of HGH testing in the NFL,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press.  “The scientific validity of the test is unquestioned.  The abuse of growth hormone must be deterred to protect the health of our players and send the right message to young athletes in all sports.”

This morning, Atallah responded by making two points.  First, Atallah said that the NFLPA at no time has questioned the safety or accuracy of the current HGH test.  The NFLPA’s concern arises from the ratio of naturally occurring HGH that the World Anti-Doping Agency deems acceptable.  WADA has refused to share with the NFLPA information regarding the manner in which the line between permissible and non-permissible concentrations of HGH was developed, creating fears that football players may have a greater (or, in theory, lower) amount of naturally occurring HGH than athletes who participate in a wide variety of other sports.  Second, Atallah contends that the “nearly two dozen scientists and lab directors” who signed the letter have ties to WADA, making their support for the WADA test less reliable and not objective.

Either way, the parties will commence the process of hashing the situation out in the presence of two members of Congress on Friday.  The league and the union have agreed that testing will occur; the sooner the two sides agree on a testing method, the sooner testing can begin.

16 responses to “Union confirms that it will visit with Congress on HGH

  1. Seriously this kind of stuff aggravates me. Why is Congress involved to begin with? There are much more pressing issues in the country to deal with than this. I really wish the NFLPA would have said no and stated something along the lines that Congress has no place in this.

  2. If you get in bed with WADA you will get screwed but you won’t enjoy it. Stay as far away from WADA as possible.

  3. “damn, all our players are using HGH, so we’ve got to stall this HGH testing thing until someone invents another form of HGH, or some other drug, that they can start taking that won’t be detected by the current test”

  4. Why are you guys scared of the WADA?
    I mean even if the level of perfomance drops because of players being tested for HGH. There isn’t any other football league in the world that comes close to competing with the NFL.
    And it probably won’t change anything anyways…
    The athletes are always ahead of the WADA

  5. sonvar says:
    Oct 13, 2011 10:06 AM
    Seriously this kind of stuff aggravates me. Why is Congress involved to begin with? There are much more pressing issues in the country to deal with than this. I really wish the NFLPA would have said no and stated something along the lines that Congress has no place in this.
    =================================
    the reason Congress gets involved is because the NFL has a anti-trust clause, so the government feels it necessary to intrude when it can.

  6. So what makes congress qualified to make policy regarding HGH testing? Don’t these pompous idiots have real work to do? Thanks NFL, for wasting more taxpayer money.

  7. Funny how people are railing against congressional intervention. Fact is, the NFL enjoys anti-trust exemption as given to them by congress(NFL asked for it and got it). If they want congress to stay out of their business, then they should give up their exemption staus. Then you will see lawsuits flying left and right. Congress has every right to get in the middle of this issue.

Leave a Reply