The NFL and the NFL Players’ Association still haven’t come to an agreement on all the details of a program for testing players for human growth hormone. But they have now agreed on a study that will be conducted before testing begins.
The union has suggested that football players, being bigger than most people, may also have naturally higher levels of HGH and that therefore the threshold for what constitutes a positive test for HGH may need to be higher than previously believed. NFL attorney Jeff Pash said Friday that an independent lab will conduct a population study that may help both sides come to an agreement about that.
“We have agreed, whether we think it’s necessary or not, to do a population study, and we’ve identified some people who can do that study who are clearly independent of the NFL and NFLPA and have no ax to grind one way or another,” Pash said, via Bob Glauber of Newsday. “If we can put the mechanism for that study in place, we can get to the point where we can have HGH testing.”
The players and the owners agreed when they signed off on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that players will be tested for HGH, but they still haven’t agreed, more than eight months later, on all the details of that testing. Pash said he’s cautiously optimistic that the population study will be a step toward implementing blood testing for HGH in time for the 2012 season.