The NFL and NFLPA haven’t reached final agreement on every issue regarding HGH testing. But the two sides have struck a deal on plenty of the pending points of contention.
Per a league source, the areas of agreement include the use of third-party arbitration for positive HGH tests. Contrary to plenty of headlines and sound bites, the NFL has agreed to allow someone other than Commissioner Roger Goodell to make the final determination regarding whether a player has tested positive. The sticking point exists regarding whether Goodell will surrender the ability to resolve appeals arising from violations based on something other than a positive HGH test, such as a violation of law relating to HGH use or proof of HGH use absent a positive test.
The league and the union also have struck a deal regarding the population study, the number of random tests to be conducted (40 per week throughout the year), and the formula for discipline (four games for an initial violation, eight for a second offense, and one year for a third offense).
The areas of agreement extend to the testing of samples provided for the population study. Depending on the percentage of samples for the population study determined to be positive tests, players testing positive will not be suspended. However, they will be subject to enhanced testing, and the next offense will result in an eight-game suspension.
No deal will be done until all issues are resolved, and the biggest remaining issue relates to the manner in which violations arising from something other than a positive HGH test will be handled.