Yes, the NFL and NFLPA have agreed to conduct a so-called “population study” regarding HGH naturally occurring in the bodies of pro football players. According to an email sent to all players roughly 10 days ago, a copy of which PFT has obtained, every player in every NFL training camp will provide a blood sample for the population study.
The sample will be used to “determine the proper decision limit for a positive test” for HGH, and the study will be supervised by Dr. Alan Rogol, M.D., Ph.D, who has been jointly hired by the NFLPA and NFL. Also, Donald Berry, Ph.D., will design the study protocol and conduct the analysis, with a second biostatistician independently reviewing both the protocol and the analysis.
There’s one important fact the memo doesn’t mention. As we reported earlier today, it’s possible that HGH testing will happen retroactively, with the samples being given for the population study also being tested once the appropriate threshold is determined.
So while the players who still use HGH will skew the baseline number higher in the population study, there’s a chance they’ll end up being caught at some point down the line.