When it comes to the ongoing negotiations between the NFL and NFLPA regarding HGH testing, there’s no news. In this case, no news is, well, no news.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league and the union still have made no recent progress toward a final deal.
The primary sticking point continues to be the question of whether Commissioner Roger Goodell will retain full authority over discipline imposed for violations arising from something other than a positive test for HGH or other performance-enhancing drugs. Previously, the NFL agreed to permit punishment arising from positive drug tests for PEDs to be handled by third-party arbitration.
The league believes that, for discipline arising from violations of the law, the third-party protection comes from the criminal justice system. As we understand it, however, the league wants to have exclusive authority over discipline imposed for other behavior that doesn’t arise from a positive test or a violation of the law.
The NFLPA remains determined not to allow Goodell to retain full jurisdiction over any PED punishment. The resistance continues to come from the board of player representatives, who point to last year’s bounty case as the primary reason for the Commissioner not having full authority in this area.
As the two sides wait for the ice to break, they’ve otherwise been tweaking minor language on other issues in order to be ready to finalize the deal. For now, though, the parties don’t seem to be inclined to finalize the deal.