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Congress plans HGH hearing next week

Darrell Issa, Elijah Cummings AP

It’s a move that has been in the works for months.  Now that every member of the House of Representatives has concluded his or her bi-annual campaigns for reelection, it can proceed.

On Monday night, Adam Schefter reported that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will convene a hearing next week to examine the science behind HGH testing and the health concerns surrounding the use of HGH.

Witnesses include Travis Tygart, the executive director of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.  Tygart undoubtedly will explain (as he has in the past) that the NFL Players Association’s concerns regarding the current HGH testing protocol aren’t reasonable.  At one point, Tygart described the union’s position as “an absolute joke.”  (We wish he wouldn’t be so vague in his views.)

In August 2011, the NFL and NFLPA agreed that HGH testing would commence that season.  To date, the parties have not agreed to a testing protocol.  Curiously, the oft-litigious NFL has not utilized any of the various legal avenues available to force the NFLPA to honor its commitment.

Now, it won’t matter.  With Congress poised to finally fire a shot across the league’s collective bow, it’ll be time for the NFL and the NFLPA to clean up the mess before Congress cleans it up for them, by for example passing a law giving the USADA the keys to the entire NFL drug-testing kingdom.

The willingness of Congress to finally force the issue could, as we explained last year, include multiple interviews and depositions, all conducted behind closed doors.  Players could be grilled about past instances of abuse of HGH and other banned substances.  They also could asked to comment under oath on the prevalence of their use, and whether any personnel within the organizations are supporting the behavior.  And specific situations that have never been fully investigated, such as the employment by the Steelers of a doctor who embraced HGH use, could become major points of interest for Congress.

Instances of potentially false testimony could result in Roger Clemens-style prosecutions.

The hearing will be conducted by Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who thought they had successfully clunked the parties’ heads together in October 2011 at a meeting held on Capitol Hill.  After said head-clunking, Issa and Cummings announced that HGH testing could begin as soon as the following week.

Or, apparently, as late as 13 months later.  And counting.

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33 Responses to “Congress plans HGH hearing next week”
  1. matthewcarlson1 says: Nov 27, 2012 6:53 PM

    This is so pathetic.. get sports out of congress! I’d like to say Congress has better things to do but its not like they would actually be doing them anyway.

  2. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Nov 27, 2012 6:56 PM

    Seriously? We have yet another debt ceiling issue coming up, and let’s not forget the impending fiscal cliff, tax reform, entitlement reform, negotiations over almost every line item of federal spending.
    But they have time to mess with this? Stop screwing around and get the important stuff done. You can play after taking care of your business. Our business.

  3. lennydpocketqb says: Nov 27, 2012 7:00 PM

    Cool! Let’s get this out of the way so we can focus on taxes next!

  4. phillybleedgreen says: Nov 27, 2012 7:00 PM

    Don’t they have this whole fiscal cliff thing to worry about right now? They shouldn’t be involved in sports at all, let alone right now. There are a lot more important issues to tackle right now.

  5. eaglesfan94 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:02 PM

    Before election day, Congress was given a 7% approval rating by the American people. Then, almost all of them subsequently get re-elected. American logic.

  6. patsfiend says: Nov 27, 2012 7:03 PM

    Can they please fix college football first?

  7. rangenius says: Nov 27, 2012 7:03 PM

    All drugs should be legal. Why should a group of men in congress tell another grown man what he can or can’t put it in his body.

  8. cosanostra71 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:05 PM

    glad to hear they have their priorities in check with the fiscal cliff coming up.

    This is what we get for re-electing Congress folks.

  9. mongobo says: Nov 27, 2012 7:05 PM

    Really can’t wait for HGH testing. I’m tired of wondering if the guys I like really are ‘fast healers’, ‘ageless’, or changing their diets honestly to put all that muscle on in the off season.

    I don’t want to see guys get rolled up in busts. I just want to trust what I see.

  10. realitypolice says: Nov 27, 2012 7:13 PM

    What are you talking about? Congress absolutely cannot put USADA in charge of the NFL drug testing program.

    The USADA is a non-profit, non-governmental organization. Congress does not have the power to hand over control of one private organization’s operations to another private organization. The idea is completely absurd and non-sensical on it’s face.

    As is the whole idea of these hearings. The United States is headed off a fiscal cliff in a little over 30 days. Congress now more than ever does not have time to wade into the affairs of the NFL.

  11. cwwgk says: Nov 27, 2012 7:13 PM

    Glad to read the NFLPA will be made to answer to its hypocritical and non-sensical position on this subject. The union so readily accuses the league of anything it can. Curious to see whether the NFLPA has any substance behind its incessant bark.

  12. theseekeroffun says: Nov 27, 2012 7:15 PM

    Outstanding! The blind leading the blind.

  13. apm says: Nov 27, 2012 7:22 PM

    Warren Sapp says it’s not a problem. Case closed.

  14. commonsensedude says: Nov 27, 2012 7:28 PM

    Awesome!! So even though we’ll go over the fiscal cliff, have our interest rates jacked up, have millions more people unemployed on January 2nd, our currency devalued and our national credit rating lowered, at least we can take comfort in knowing that Congress is all over the HGH issue.

    Now THAT’s what I call leadership.

  15. baloneyjohn says: Nov 27, 2012 7:32 PM

    These crooks in Congress having hearings on anything, especially sports, is so stupid.
    Keep the Feds out of as much as possible

  16. hyzers says: Nov 27, 2012 7:32 PM

    Ray Lewis’ tricep should be healed by then so no worries there.

    Clay Matthews on the other hand…

  17. leatherface2012 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:36 PM

    clay mathews just said “doh”!!!!

  18. blakeinfla says: Nov 27, 2012 7:50 PM

    No jobs…bankrupt country …2 wars going on….people losing their houses…..good time to deal with HGH…I dont care if your a dem or rep. this is awful. Who does congress serve? Not America.

  19. andrewfbrowne says: Nov 27, 2012 7:53 PM

    I guess no lawmakers are supposed to do anything except until the committees that are in charge of making sure that the country does not go over the Fiscal Cliff have finished their job. Pity. I guess that leaves about 500 Congress people with nothing to do for the next month. I really wish we weren’t so stupid a culture.

  20. kash71 says: Nov 27, 2012 7:55 PM

    Can we focus on the Fiscal Cliff first

  21. TheWizard says: Nov 27, 2012 7:57 PM

    The postal service in one year lost just shy of 17 billion dollars. That’s billion with a B.

    Though I don’t necessarily disagree with what they’re trying to do in this instance, the idea that government can tell anyone else how to run something is laughable.

  22. contrarianjon says: Nov 27, 2012 7:57 PM

    Fiscal cliff takes a back seat to a more pressing issue

  23. paredskinwarrior1985 says: Nov 27, 2012 8:45 PM

    America has become a joke. congress just wants to burn millions of dollars on this with the nfl to distract America that they are not doing there jobs and flushing America down the toilet.

    any congress man or woman that voted to waste money on this should be fired. any person that thinks congress should have any interest in the nfl should be the ones fronting the money for those bs not taxpayers!!!

    the media should ring these congressmen out bc of this and not focusing on things to help the American ppl. seriously these ppl shouldn’t have jobs like millions of Americans don’t!!

  24. dolphandan says: Nov 27, 2012 9:02 PM

    “In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”
    ~John Adams

  25. gadgetdawg says: Nov 27, 2012 9:09 PM

    Sorry all but the NFL was granted and Anti-trust exemption. The moment they surrender that exemption is the moment I will support the Congress ‘butting out’. I agree that this is far from the most opportune time for it but the NFL asks for it in exchange for that exemption.

    As for the idiot screaming that all drugs should be legal, all I can say is you obviously do not have a daughter. If you did you would realize that Rohypnol is happily controlled and should never be free to the general public.

  26. realitypolice says: Nov 27, 2012 9:40 PM

    Andrew,
    500 congressmen sitting around doing nothing? That would really be something since there are only 441 total members of congress.

    And I’ll just assume you don’t know what a congressional caucus is. Just because a congressman doesn’t sit on one of the committees responsible for fiscal matters, that doesn’t mean they don’t meet every day with their colleagues on these issues, and that they don’t have pressing obligations to see that this is solved.

    I don’t think anyone is saying that ALL activity on issues other than the budget should be dropped. Just irrelevant and foolish activity like holding hearings about drug testing in the NFL.

    Please be careful who you call stupid.

  27. hdmoyer says: Nov 27, 2012 9:49 PM

    Watch how fast guys like Suh, Cushing, and Matthews become irrelevant.

  28. mjkelly77 says: Nov 27, 2012 10:00 PM

    Implement HGH testing already. Then immediately work on extending the Bush tax cuts while also raising the highest marginal tax rate back from 35% to 39.6% on those who make over $400K per year.

  29. gmen7210 says: Nov 27, 2012 10:14 PM

    Not too sound annoying or anything but there are 435 members of congress and if I’m not mistaken only the 2 dozen or so on the budget committee negotiate the budget, the rest just vote. The members of Congress that deal with HGH in sports probably belong to a different committee… Just saying.

  30. andrewjones1124 says: Nov 27, 2012 10:54 PM

    Common, there is a fiscal cliff that needs to be addressed. Who cares about athletes and growth, steroids or HGH. I do not think there is a subject we should care less about period. Maybe we should throw Motley Crue on trial for snorting cocaine in the ’80s

  31. Canyonero says: Nov 27, 2012 11:11 PM

    gmen7210, good point, but keep in mind members of Congress have immense power to create committees & research groups on anything imaginable.

    Given the dire state of things, the fact a congressman thinks this.. now.. is the time to tackle chemical usage in pro sports, is ridiculous. There are lots more important problems to tackle.

    Any one of those problems could be investigated by a congressional task force. (Hey, that would also create jobs..)

  32. footballer4ever says: Nov 28, 2012 1:14 AM

    Impeach them all! Impeach the league which somehow ha$ managed to cover up the “legal” and illegal rampant drug enhancement usage among its players. The hipocrisy of it all, of course!

  33. harrisonhits2 says: Nov 28, 2012 1:17 AM

    This is the equivalent of Nero playing fiddle while Rome was burning.

    The country is going down the toilet and all these congress people can do is worry about hgh testing ?

    Just shows how only the bottom feeders of society are willing to take on high political office these days, party is irrelevant they’re all utterly and totally corrupt.

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