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Talks on HGH testing will continue at Scouting Combine

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The NFL and the NFLPA will get together in Indy next week to discuss a variety of issues.

One of the biggest?  HGH testing.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told Alex Marvez and Jim Miller of SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday that the league and the union will continue to try to finalize an HGH testing plan.  The parties agreed in August that testing would commence for the 2011 season.  Due to union concerns regarding the validity of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s protocol, however, no testing has occurred.

Atallah said there’s no timetable for working things out.

“We believe the proposal we gave to the league, which includes a population study for our players and fair appeals rights, are really not dependent on a date,” Atallah said.

The NFLPA has been asking for a “population study” for months.  The request arises from concerns that WADA’s thresholds apply to Olympic athletes, whose body compositions may entail a much lower natural concentration of HGH.  And so the NFLPA wants a specific standard to be developed based on the natural HGH levels existing in NFL players.

Of course, to the extent that NFL players included in the population study are driving up their HGH levels by injecting more HGH into their bodies, the numbers will be skewed.

Regardless, the two sides seem to be no closer to working out a deal than they were in August.  Some in league circles believe that, in light of the unpopularity of HGH testing among the rank and file, the NFLPA won’t make serious strides toward resolving the issue until Executive Director DeMaurice Smith receives a contract to replace his three-year deal that expires in March.

Still, to the extent that feet are being dragged, the NFL has failed to take any steps to enforce what appears to be a clear agreement to conduct testing.  At some point, if the NFL and the NFLPA can’t solve their differences on their own, Congress could impose a solution on both sides that neither will like.

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12 Responses to “Talks on HGH testing will continue at Scouting Combine”
  1. dabigbangclock says: Feb 18, 2012 4:28 PM

    Can we stop with this please? These guys take a beating week in, week out, isnt it a good thing that they have access to something that will help their bodies recover and help them heal more quickly from injuries? I dont see a downside to HGH use in the NFL… Que the moral police…

  2. chaney13 says: Feb 18, 2012 4:34 PM

    Seems like the more the NFLPA fights HGH testing, the more it looks like a pretty sognificant number players must be using it

  3. cornersss says: Feb 18, 2012 4:56 PM

    “Seems like the more the NFLPA fights HGH testing, the more it looks like a pretty sognificant number players must be using it”

    Very large assumption. Most union in any job will fight drug testing or blood testing of their members. Doesnt have to be football, or a sport for that matter

  4. chaney13 says: Feb 18, 2012 4:58 PM

    Not saying good or bad. If the NFLPA believes that HGH has positive benefits for the proficiency, health & welfare of the players, than they should come out and make their case publicly, rather than just playing around and avoiding the issue. This would clear up any perception that they, themselves, feel that they may be cheating, or risking potential health issues.

  5. bearsstillsuck says: Feb 18, 2012 6:01 PM

    I’m surprised these commenters don’t know the side effects of hgh and how severe it can be. That’s why the nfl wants to stop it, so in fifty years players can’t sue saying that the nfl knew the risks, but still let players take it; because you know it’d happen.

  6. mnsadsportsfan says: Feb 18, 2012 7:01 PM

    I could care less if they are using it in fact i. could care less if they smoke pot snort coke or are on the juice cause at the end of the day ( sunday ) i could care less what happens to them. just sayin

  7. steviemo says: Feb 18, 2012 7:26 PM

    I like the guy on here who just says over and over again ad nauseum that HGH has no performance benefit and merely helps you recover more quickly. That is complete nonsense and totally contrary to the facts. Beyond that, the reason the league is awash in 320 pound+ linemen now versus 20 years ago is that pretty much every lineman uses the stuff to gain that last 30-40 pounds, and it’s undetectable without a blood test.

    Why on earth do you think the NFLPA keeps trying to delay or kill the testing that both parties agreed to in the CBA? Obvious to anyone with a brain.

  8. steviemo says: Feb 18, 2012 8:20 PM

    Just a few short paragraphs from WADA’s site: “Commonly reported side effects for hGH abuse are: diabetes in prone individuals; worsening of cardiovascular diseases; muscle, joint and bone pain; hypertension and cardiac deficiency; abnormal growth of organs; accelerated osteoarthritis.

    In untreated acromegalic individuals (known for pathological over-production of hGH), many of the symptoms described above are observed and life expectancy is known to be significantly reduced.

    Because of the role that hGH plays in stimulating IGF-1 secretion, excessive use of hGH may also lead to metabolic dysfunction, including glucose intolerance and other side effects associated with excess levels of IGF-1.”

  9. johntonioholmes says: Feb 18, 2012 11:17 PM

    I’d like to see the players who abused HGH.

    My top guesses? Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, James Harrison, Clay Matthews.

    It’s pretty much impossible to weigh 235 lbs. and run a 4.35/40. James Harrison is WAY too strong (I’m a Steelers fan, by the way). And it’s pretty much impossible to get biceps that look like Clay Matthews’ without steroids or HGH. They aren’t the biggest, but they look like he’s flexing constantly. That’s not normal.

    I like and respect all of these players, so please don’t assume that I’m taking cheap shots. Those players just have seemingly unnatural skills or physiques.

    I could definitely be wrong. If I am, that’s a tribute to those players’ skills.

    Name your top suspects…

  10. FinFan68 says: Feb 19, 2012 8:14 AM

    The NFLPA is full of __it. Their stance basically equates to nfl players are naturally above the norm for HGH levels. stupid people actually believe this. They, collectively, are knowingly taking banned substances in order to get an edge. That’s why they refuse the tests they agreed to. It has nothing to do with test validity, protocols or the “natural” body composition of superhuman nfl players.

  11. steviemo says: Feb 19, 2012 10:36 AM

    @johntonioholmes: 90% of offensive linemen.

  12. johntonioholmes says: Feb 19, 2012 12:12 PM

    steviemo

    Oh definitely. Same with d-line. I was just picking out obvious impact players.

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