NFL back to the drawing board on HGH population study


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.

9 responses to “NFL back to the drawing board on HGH population study

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ( article “Human Growth Hormone (HGH): Does It Slow Aging?”)

  4. 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 .

  5. @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.

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