During Super Bowl week, there was a report from Albert Breer of NFL.com that the NFLPA was hoping to use negotiations over testing for human growth hormone as a way to address the union’s dissatisfaction with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s power to discipline players.
It’s the latest in a series of feints and maneuvers that have kept the league free of a test for some banned substances. One member of the union wants the leadership to start moving more quickly toward HGH testing. Redskins linebacker London Fletcher didn’t hold much back when it came to his feeling that the NFLPA needs to get serious about an agreement regarding testing sooner rather than later.
“I’ve got a message for my union: Stop the posturing and get the HGH testing done. It’s time to get it done. You know, I think it’s more prevalent in our league than you would think. There’s probably more than 10 percent of guys taking HGH. And we have to get it out,” Fletcher said, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “As a player who’s [been in the league] for 15 years and has done it the right way, I want a good, clean game. I want a level playing surface. I don’t want to have all this posturing and ‘Oh, well, can we trust the credibility of this guy, this test?’ and all that. Stop the madness and let’s get the test done.’
Congress told the NFLPA that they could call players to testify if the league and union are unable to come to an agreement on testing. Major League Baseball has implemented HGH tests for the first time as part of their drug policy this season, something that would seem to present at least a framework for how the sides can move forward on a deal of their own.