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.