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NFL back to the drawing board on HGH population study

Executive director of the NFL Players Association Smith and NFL Commissioner Goodell speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington Reuters

Last month the NFL and the players’ union agreed that before testing of players for human growth hormone would begin, a population study would be conducted at an independent lab to help determine the threshold for what constitutes a positive test for HGH. But now that agreement has hit a snag.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said at his press conference on Thursday that a new lab will have to be found to conduct the study, because the researcher the NFL initially commissioned now says he can’t do the job.

“We just recently found out . . . the league’s choice to run the population study that we had consented to recently withdrew and said that he wasn’t the right person to get this done,” Smith said. “I’m thrilled that the league has made a decision to move forward with the population study. I’m a little frustrated that their selection has now pulled out so that we have to again re-up and try to get this done.”

The league and the union agreed last year that players would get blood tests for HGH. But those tests still haven’t begun because the two sides haven’t been able to agree on all the details of that testing. Smith said Thursday that the population study is not the only outstanding issue.

So even though it was agreed to nearly a year ago, HGH testing may not begin any time soon.

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9 Responses to “NFL back to the drawing board on HGH population study”
  1. zimaman says: May 25, 2012 9:21 AM

    MeMaurice is at it again

    some things never change…………..

  2. dldove77 says: May 25, 2012 9:23 AM

    You’re frustrated, De Smith? YOU’RE FRUSTRATED?! Give me a break.

  3. clintonportisheadd says: May 25, 2012 9:25 AM

    Here’s an idea NFL. Get on the phone and call the Olympics people. I believe the consensus is that they are the “gold standard” in this area.

  4. mavajo says: May 25, 2012 9:25 AM

    I really don’t care whether the league tests for HGH or not. It’s one of the more overblown issues in sports.

    Unlike steroids, there’s been no evidence that HGH helps athletes perform better. What HGH does do, however, is help athletes HEAL faster. I’m not sure why that’s something we need to ban.

  5. raysfan1 says: May 25, 2012 9:33 AM

    As far as I am concerned, they shouldn’t bother. HGH is not an effective PED. It increases muscle bulk but not strength in healthy adults. Source: Mayo Clinic (mayo.com article “Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Does It Slow Aging?”)

  6. CKL says: May 25, 2012 10:01 AM

    Hmmm…another thing to agree to then stall on until his election comes up again? I am so sick of these “politicians” on both sides with the NFL .

  7. canuck54143 says: May 25, 2012 10:19 AM

    I say file 3 billion lawsuit against NFLPA for failure to live up to CBA!!!!

  8. pocketsstraight says: May 25, 2012 11:42 AM

    @mavajo — So do steroids… Both work pretty similar from a high-level — reduce inflammation, protein synthesis — and help the body heal faster.

    The big difference is that steroids have an androgenic effect that HGH has not been proven to have. That effect could provide more of a performance enhancement.

    One of the interesting twists here is that HGH is naturally occurring. And many things like lifting weights while at the end of a 10 hour (or longer) fast will increase the natural production of HGH to levels that are detected by these tests. Also muscle mass increases HGH production. So Football Players who lift under fasted states would produce HGH levels that would cross the threshold…. Without injecting any synthetic substances…. This is why a third party needs to be brought to the table to determine the threshold and the olympic or cycling thresholds are not accurate. This is also why the olympic threshold does not apply to weight lifting participants.

  9. buffalomafia says: May 25, 2012 1:35 PM

    Who thinks Ray Lewis is on HGH?

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