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NFL, NFLPA still fighting over HGH testing

Darrell Issa, Dominique Foxworth, Ernie Conwell AP

On Friday, two members of Congress announced that the NFL would be implementing HGH testing in the near future.  Though a disagreement apparently remained regarding the interpretation of the test results, Representative Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) made it clear that samples would be collected and tested in the immediate future, with further discussion on how the results would be handled.

“We are not guaranteeing any outcome other then there was an agreement to begin testing immediately,” Issa (pictured with Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth) said Friday, per FOXSports.com.  “The other aspects on what to do with the tests will be resolved over the next many weeks.”

Earlier today, the NFL notified the NFLPA that the league will commence the collection of blood samples on Monday.  And now the NFLPA is refusing to cooperate.

“We informed the NFL [Tuesday] that absent a collective agreement on several critical issues, blood collection is not ready to be implemented on Monday,” the NFLPA said in a statement released on the union’s website. “We have advised the players.”

The NFL isn’t pleased.

“We are disappointed in the union’s response,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press.  “It is contrary to the terms of the CBA and the agreements reached last Friday with the chairman and ranking member of the House Government Reform Committee.”

Added Aiello via Twitter:  “We know of no reason why these initial steps should not begin next week, and none has been identified by the union.”

The union’s refusal to follow through on the agreement reached with Issa and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is troubling.  The union has yet to address whether it believes no agreement was reached, or whether the agreement isn’t what the NFL and Issa claim that it is.

The union’s position will serve only to increase speculation that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will resist for as long as possible the implementation of HGH testing, not due to concerns that an overabundance of players will be caught but due to a belief that, if HGH testing is implemented at any point this season, Smith won’t be re-elected when his contract expires in March 2012.

Either way, the two sides need to work this out, sooner rather than later.  Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, who now works for CBS and WFAN (among other media jobs), had strong comments on the subject during Wednesday’s PFT Live.

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16 Responses to “NFL, NFLPA still fighting over HGH testing”
  1. granadafan says: Oct 19, 2011 7:13 PM

    Now it looks like the NFLPA is stalling for time to clean out the system of their cheating players. There is no rationale excuse for not accepting HGH testing when world class athletes around the world are already tested. It sounds like the excuse Dick Perry uses to justify forcing Texan children to learn a historical document’s version of the creation of the Earth over scientifically proven evolution just because he has “questions” about science.

  2. tommyf15 says: Oct 19, 2011 7:19 PM

    Before the stupid Clay Matthews jokes start, I’d like to point out how scary it is that the U.S. Government is demanding that it’s citizens surrender blood samples.

  3. contra74 says: Oct 19, 2011 7:20 PM

    NFL, NFLPA still fighting over HGH testing = A few players breathing a short sigh of relief.

  4. kandh2004 says: Oct 19, 2011 8:14 PM

    Are you kidding me I can’t believe the NFLPA is refusing this. Something fishy going on here but I still don’t think congress should get involved they should worry about getting the real workers some jobs

  5. maddenboy says: Oct 19, 2011 8:50 PM

    obviously the Union wants to wait until players “dry out” so they dont test positive.

    Duh.

  6. danphxariz says: Oct 19, 2011 9:01 PM

    They don’t want it to start on Monday because the drugs won’t be out of the players’ systems by then. Duh.

  7. kmart0319 says: Oct 19, 2011 9:08 PM

    Tpyical Union “I won’t and you can’t make me” attitude. It doesn’t serve the players one bit (unless their guilty) to not have testing to weed out those that are cheating the game and destroying themselves.

  8. steviemo says: Oct 19, 2011 9:17 PM

    Gee, players, why would you be averse to HGH testing? Hmmmmmmm.

    We all know what’s up. It’s the dirty little secret that results in numerous retired players dying at ages 50-55….

  9. bobby4413 says: Oct 19, 2011 9:19 PM

    This is obviously buying time. Now we know why there have been so many bs injuries, like cramps, torn hammies, etc. No more juice to keep these cheaters playing!

  10. namestim says: Oct 19, 2011 9:28 PM

    I personally believe that these guys should be able to responsibly use HGH. When used properly, HGH can help with health and recovery and lord knows these guys put their bodies through alot. I would like to stress, however, that it should be used RESPONSIBLY. Abuse of the drug can cause the adverse side-effects that we all know about (see Barry Bonds’ head), as well as others.

    Hell, I stopped after playing college football and I’ve got serious aches and pains in my shoulders and legs at a pretty young age. If I had the money for it, you can bet I’d be incorporating a responsible level of HGH in my life.

  11. santorin4 says: Oct 19, 2011 11:21 PM

    HGH testing is not yet very accurate. Every person on the planet has different levels naturally occurring in their body and that level can change frequently. Fell free to ask the “Bearded Lady” at the carnival about that.

    If they are going to test, then they need to make sure it is accurate, the last thing we need is Godell handing out more fines to people that may not deserve it.

  12. hdlow42 says: Oct 20, 2011 12:41 AM

    @steviemo Do you know what your talking about? The discussion is on HGH, not anabolics. You are more likely to die from taking ibuprofen compared to HGH.

    Everyone else saying the players are buying time… You clearly have no idea of the facts surrounding HGH testing. Blood test can only detect HGH taken within the last 24-48 hours. It’s because of this that forcing players to give blood is a waste of time as you will only catch the occational moron.

    Stop being “educated” by the media and do your own research… You might be surprised on what you find.

    Congress, those who help make our laws, are not drug tested yet they feel then need to spend tax dollars on having the people who entertain us drug tested. Doesn’t that seem backwards?

  13. buzzbissinger says: Oct 20, 2011 2:03 AM

    Naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, really?

  14. philsimmsisadouche says: Oct 20, 2011 2:38 AM

    Nice to see that Congress doesn’t have any really high priorities, like fixing the sinking economy, and can take the time to lecture the NFL & NFLPA on drug testing.

  15. msclemons67 says: Oct 20, 2011 4:02 AM

    The NFL might want to back off a bit on HGH testing. Do they really want to suspend 50% of their players in the middle of a season where they are killing TV ratings?

    Wait until the offseason Goodell. Show a bit of intelligence for a change.

  16. sojumaster says: Oct 20, 2011 2:58 PM

    First, I agree with the HGH testing and that it should be done.

    With that being said, why is congress getting involved? The NFL is still a PRIVATE organization, not a government organization (military) nor an organization that affects public safety (Air Traffic Controllers).

    Boomer Esiason is an idiot with his comments. “They don’t want players coming back 20 years later and complaining about the effects of HGH on their body” and then follow it up with how “players at all level know the danger of using HGH.” Like its the NFL’s fault that the players are taking HGH. His statement was about the worst possible artuclated reason for the testing

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