Weeks after the NFL and NFLPA agreed that, under the new labor deal, annual and random blood testing will occur for HGH, no testing procedure has been implemented. And Congress continues to apply more and more pressure to the parties.
On August 25, Fred Upton (R-Mich.) pressed the league and the union to launch HGH testing by the start of the regular season. Three days ago, on the first day of the regular season, Henry Waxman (D-Ca.) echoed Upton’s concerns.
“I urge you to work together to put in place an independent and effective testing regime without further delay,” Waxman wrote, “so that testing may begin as soon as possible during the 2011 season.”
PFT has obtained a copy of the letter. Portions of it have appeared in various published reports.
The NFL wants to use the World Anti-Doping Agency’s testing procedure. The NFLPA claims that more information is needed. Like Upton, Waxman tends to side with the league.
“While blood testing for HGH involves a relatively new technique, there are virtually no questions about the scientific credibility of this testing methodology,” Waxman wrote. “The test is approved and used by the World Anti-Doping Agency, has been used for Olympic testing, and earlier this month was used in the United States to identify a professional athlete using the drug.”
Neither Upton nor Waxman have specified the “or else,” but they don’t have to. Eventually, Congress will impose a testing requirement on the NFL and the NFLPA, if the NFL and the NFLPA don’t implement one on their own. And once the process leaves the control of the parties, there’s a chance that no one will like the specifics of the final product.