Source: NFL, NFLPA very close on a new drug testing program

Getty Images

Maybe John McCain knew something when he wrote his letter urging the NFL and the NFLPA to come to an agreement on hGH testing.  Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league and the union currently are “very close” to striking a comprehensive agreement on drug testing, which will include hGH testing.

The lack of an agreement on blood testing for hGH had delayed the implementation of other terms on which the two sides agreed, including the potential shift of substances like amphetamines from the PED policy to the substance-abuse policy.

The hGH testing agreement is expected to grant an independent arbitrator the authority to resolve appeals of positive tests.  The last major sticking point related to the question of whether the Commissioner or an independent arbitrator will handle the appeals of discipline imposed for violations unrelated to a positive test.

An agreement doesn’t mean hGH testing will start any time soon.  First, a population study must be conducted to determine the naturally-occurred hGH levels in professional football players.