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NFL blames lack of HGH testing on “buyer’s remorse” and “delay tactics”

Executive director of the NFL Players Association Smith and NFL Commissioner Goodell speak outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington Reuters

The NFL and the NFLPA don’t usually agree on much.  For now, they agree on the reason for their latest disagreement.  Which is nice.

Specifically, the league and the union haven’t finalized a deal to conduct HGH testing because the union wants third-party arbitration to apply to all HGH violations. The league wants it to apply to cases involving positive tests only.

“NFL players two years ago overwhelmingly agreed to HGH testing and to continuing the Commissioner’s longstanding disciplinary authority in cases where a player is found to have violated the law by a judge or jury,” NFL senior V.P. of labor policy and government affairs Adolpho Birch said in a statement released to PFT.

“The union’s latest demand has nothing to do with appeals from positive drug tests, nothing to do with ensuring a level playing field and nothing to do with keeping players safe from dangerous substances.  It is simply a case of buyer’s remorse, and an effort to renegotiate part of a long-term agreement that they have now decided they don’t like.

“The union knows that HGH testing is the right thing to do for our game, for its membership, and for the millions of people who look to the NFL and NFL players to set the example for fair and exciting play.  It is time for the NFLPA to stop the delay tactics, to move forward for the good of the game and players, and stop focusing on protecting people that break the law.”

Though at times over the last two years it has appeared that the NFLPA has been trying to delay the implementation of HGH testing, this last sticking point seems to be legitimate.  From the union’s perspective, all HGH-related punishment should be subject to neutral arbitration.  From the league’s perspective, only HGH punishment arising from positive testing should be subject to neutral arbitration, because under prior labor deals HGH punishment arising from violations of the law or other evidence of HGH use or possession gave the Commissioner the final say.

It’s a narrow issue, but the union’s adherence to it can’t fairly be described as “buyer’s remorse” or a “delay tactic” or “protecting people that break the law.”  The NFLPA is trying to protect people from the largely unfettered discretion of Roger Goodell, who sometimes is wrong even when he genuinely believes he’s right.  (We all fit that description from time to time, don’t we?)  If the NFL wants a comprehensive HGH policy, why shouldn’t all HGH punishments be subject to the same standard of third-party arbitration?

Each side’s position is reasonable.  Which means that the NFLPA isn’t being unreasonable.  And the NFL isn’t being unreasonable.  Together, it would be irresponsible and unreasonable for the two parties to fail to carry the ball the final yard across the goal line.

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15 Responses to “NFL blames lack of HGH testing on “buyer’s remorse” and “delay tactics””
  1. unbiasfan says: Aug 22, 2013 3:59 PM

    Can’t wait to see Adrian Peterson get tested and prove to the haters that he’s clean, he’s just a in-human freak athlete that comes once a millennium…

  2. aaroncurryisbust says: Aug 22, 2013 4:01 PM

    HGH testing is going to ruin football like the PED crackdown ruined baseball.

  3. 4thqtrsaint says: Aug 22, 2013 4:10 PM

    Neutral parties for all discipline & testing sounds fair to me.

  4. draculalambert says: Aug 22, 2013 4:12 PM

    HGH has not been proven to do anything…mark Cuban is right

  5. thevauntedchris says: Aug 22, 2013 4:16 PM

    seriously wondering why anyone cares about hgh testing when testosterone is much more effective. maybe I’m missing something. Of course the players don’t care about testing for hgh.

  6. BigBeachBall says: Aug 22, 2013 4:17 PM

    The NFL should invoke Olympic testing on the NFC teams and no testing on the AFC over a five year period and see what happens.

  7. tabcdef9 says: Aug 22, 2013 4:19 PM

    …”the union wants third-party arbitration to apply to all HGH violations. The league wants it to apply to cases involving positive tests only.”

    What BS, the only violation IS a positive test. As written above there is no difference between the NFL’s and the Union’s position on HGH. Deal done.

  8. vdogg says: Aug 22, 2013 4:34 PM

    The “sticking point” is invalid, the union/players already agreed to the terms. Why is it so hard for a legally binding contract to be enforced these days…?

  9. bsizemore68 says: Aug 22, 2013 4:41 PM

    The union is not doing the players any favors on testing, what are they hiding? Bill

  10. fanasaurus says: Aug 22, 2013 4:55 PM

    @tabcdef9, what an uninformed statement. Rodney Harrison was suspended for four games with no positive test. He was caught through records that proved he bought PED’s. Also look at the baseball players now getting suspended with no positive test.

  11. marima07 says: Aug 22, 2013 6:14 PM

    It’s been three years, not two, and the issue needs to be addressed.

    Either suck up the media hit and legalize it’s use, or keep the ban and start testing yesterday.

    Both sides can’t hold hands in solidarity about wanting HGH testing, while one side is looking the other way and the other is stonewalling about procedure.

  12. motobus says: Aug 22, 2013 7:53 PM

    ”overwhelmingly agreed to… continuing the Commissioner’s longstanding disciplinary authority in cases where a player is found to have violated the law by a judge or jury”

    I don’t understand the relevancy of this to the NFL’s point.

  13. drunkwino says: Aug 22, 2013 10:05 PM

    This is what happens when a commissioner goes all Palpatine. If the NFL is so serious about this getting done, then Goodell should shut his hole and let someone else handle the appeals.

  14. icornholedmcnastysmom says: Aug 22, 2013 10:12 PM

    Who cares, let them dope. Baseball was so much better in the 90′s when everyone was going yard. Dong let football follow the same path as baseball.

  15. ia4chiefs says: Aug 23, 2013 9:05 AM

    Another media driven story about drug testing, we fans don’t care. We want football players big and fast and baseball players knocking the ball out of the park. Especially for the prices we pay to be fans (merchandise,tickets, parking, and food).

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