With the NFL and NFLPA still at impasse regarding the issue of HGH testing, and with at least one Congressional committee already involved in trying to turn the agreement to conduct HGH testing into a reality, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the group that has been actively involved in encouraging the commencement of testing has no timetable for its next steps.
“No timetable” doesn’t mean that the process will be delayed indefinitely. It means that anything can happen, at any time.
A month ago on Monday, the NFL and NFLPA met with two key members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in order to transform the August 4 agreement to conduct HGH testing into actual HGH testing. Representative Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) said after the meeting that the parties had agreed to promptly commence the collection of blood samples.
To date, that hasn’t happened.
As explained last Sunday, Congress has multiple tools at its disposal to nudge the parties toward HGH testing. Even without a public hearing, players can be questioned behind closed doors regarding a variety of issues, including the reasons for the NFLPA’s resistance to testing and the extent to which HGH is being used by players. If/when the public questioning strays toward the issue of team knowledge of HGH use and/or team involvement in procuring it, the NFL could take some significant hits on this issue, even though the NFL is merely hoping at this point to see the union fulfill its agreement to submit to HGH testing.
And so the smart approach for the NFL could be to pursue the enforcement of the agreement through available legal means. Though it could take weeks if not months to resolve such efforts, a resolution through a judicial process would likely do far less damage to the league and its players than a full-blown Congressional inquiry.
Either way, the Congressional clock is ticking. And like DeSean Jackson’s alarm, no one knows when it’s going to start buzzing.