Well, the worst deal in the history of sports eventually will get even worse.
At a time when NFL players face no testing for any type of performance-enhancing substances because they have been locked out, the league will insist that the next labor deal includes testing for Human Growth Hormone, according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.
“We want it. We think it’s necessary,” Adolpho Birch, who runs the league’s drug-testing policies, told Marvez. “We’re going to ensure that it’s done. That’s something very important to us and the integrity of our game. We believe some of the basis for going slowly on it before has been addressed. At this point, it’s proper for it to be an active part of our program.”
No urine test has been developed for HGH, and the NFLPA (under the late Gene Upshaw) has expressed resistance to the prospect of blood testing.
If the league is so concerned about the integrity of the game, the league should expedite efforts to resolve the current labor impasse so that testing of players may resume. Men who are faced with the prospect of rehabbing injuries on their own will be tempted to use banned substances to speed the healing process and/or to build or maintain muscle mass. As long as they stop and purge the proof from their systems before testing resumes, they’ll never face punishment.
Though we’re not saying the league should end the lockout for the sole purpose of resurrecting drug testing, we definitely believe that the league should find a way to continue talks, regardless of the label that applies to the discussions. Instead, it appears that the league’s dream team of outside lawyers has persuaded the league to hold firm through April 6, given the perception that the players have only one bullet in their litigation rifle — and that if the motion to lift the lockout fails, it’ll only be a matter of time before the players cave.