League, union still at impasse on HGH testing

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The NFL wants to implement HGH testing before the start of the regular season.  The regular season starts in only 13 days.

So what’s the status of the talks regarding HGH testing?

Per the Associated Press, the two sides remain at impasse as to the particulars of the testing procedures.

The new CBA states that HGH testing will be conducted annually and also on a random basis.  The NFL is pushing to get the testing protocol in place, and the union is resisting.  The sticking point is the procedures that will be used by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said that WADA “demonstrated to our satisfaction that there is very sound science and very thoughtful testing protocols” at a recent meeting in Montreal.

The NFLPA doesn’t share that view.  “We have never shied away from the fact that that needs to be tested,” Broncos safety and NFLPA Executive Committee member Brian Dawkins said. “But it’s just doing it the right way and going about it in not such an invasive way.”

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah was more specific.  “The documents WADA gave us were not adequate at all,” Atallah told Juliet Macur of the New York Times.  “And we’re not going to implement another person’s test without looking at the scientific documents ourselves.  We’re disappointed in the lack of transparency on WADA’s part.”

WADA officials aren’t pleased with that.  “We gave them all the information,” WADA’s director general David Howman recently told Mark Maske of the Washington Post.  “The scientists in the room were all satisfied. . . . It’s a very robust test and very conservatively applied.”

More pointedly, Howman said that the players are taking “a very strange approach” if they truly want the sport to be clean.

Suddenly, this standoff reminds us of the union’s position that no new CBA could be negotiated without comprehensive financial information.  Eventually, it was.

As a result, it’s hard to put much credence in yet another potentially hollow request for necessary documentation that, in the end, really won’t be necessary at all.

17 responses to “League, union still at impasse on HGH testing

  1. Who Cares!?! I personaly dont have a problem with players using HGH or even Steriods for that matter. People used to do them for many years, if they want to risk there own bodys then let them. Why dont they ban energy drinks then? protein shakes? I mean Cmon on let em play!

  2. I can’t possibly think of any reason why a player wouldn’t want HGH testing in the NFL… lol

  3. The players don’t really want testing. WADA has had testing protocols in place for years that have withstood several court challenges.

  4. LOL, these guys have 50k worth of tattoos, another 50k worth of piercings and bling, buttocks that look like pincushions from all the PED shots, and they can’t allow a blood sample to be drawn.

  5. It’s important because the practice is moving down the age levels. Former NFL players (or NFL wannabes) are starting their kids off on it at a young age to give them advantage. The past two Heisman Trophy winners, Newton and Ingram are poster boys for adolescent abuse of banned performance enhancing drugs. They then become role models for younger kids, and it works it’s way further down the chain.

  6. Wada is good enough for the Olympics, Tour De France and several other big time international orgs but not for the NFLPA? I suspect the truth is a bit more obvious. I suspect the union is trying to ‘protect’ a large portion of it membership. That would be the users.

    As to the “risk there own bodys” crew, I suspect the most important decision maker here should be the fans. I for one don’t want to watch football played by the best bodies money can buy and I suspect I am far from alone. If these folks can’t hack it the same way the legends of the sport did, we need to find some new athletes not make more with hormone treatments.

  7. Just use the blood samples provided by every player when they showed up to camp as a test run and call it a freebie. They already have it, no need to ask them for another sample. Invasion of privacy, possibly…wake-up call to current cheaters, absolutely. The goal is to stop the use of these things, not necessarily to catch the individuals every time they use it. Demonstrate how viable the test is, let that sink into their brains for a while and implement random and 100% player testing at unannounced times throughout the year–during the season and during the off-season. 1st test every year will be part of their annual team physical. The issues will soon go away.

  8. I love how the lawyers STILL question testing labs and science. They sound like Rick Pery who questions science because he doesn’t understand it or doesn’t want to.

    “hobartbaker says:
    Aug 26, 2011 3:37 PM
    LOL, these guys have 50k worth of tattoos, another 50k worth of piercings and bling, buttocks that look like pincushions from all the PED shots, and they can’t allow a blood sample to be drawn.”

    Excellent point, hobart.

  9. Last year’s Super Bowl should have been renamed the Steroid Bowl.

    Green Bay with Clay Matthews. That guy buffed up in a hurry after getting drafted. He looks prehistoric.

    And Pittsburgh… James Harrison got cut from a few teams before signing with Pittsburgh. All of a sudden he’s 40 pounds heavier, all muscle, and the defensive player of the year.

    There are other players on those teams and throughout the league whose bodies underwent massive changes in a single year, Shawne Merriman.

    It’s clear the players just don’t want effective testing. They are being offered the same level of testing as used by the Olympics which is the gold standard.

  10. Sad to say but the more nflpa fights the test, the more likely that the public believes the players r doping. Not to say all players do, but lets not be naive here and say they r all clean.

  11. So many fans who want more drug testing don’t believe the results of drug tests unless they’re positive but somehow know that certain players are juicing anyway – especially if they don’t like them.

  12. Soccer leagues in europe don’t even blink at testing. A goalie last year was banned for 9 months for testing positive for a substance. No crying, no whining, just took his lumps and got on with it. WADA is respected world wide, yet these guys don’t “trust” the process.

    They really do believe the public is stupid.

  13. Aside from whether or not the NFL needs HGH testing, I wouldn’t trust WADA to be involved in the process any farther than I could throw them. They’re an unelected, unaccountable bureaucratic monstrosity and when an athlete lands in their cross-hairs, they’re guilty until proven innocent. The NFLPA’s skepticism of them is absolutely 100% justified.

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