Talks continue toward HGH testing, but major roadblock remains

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For most of the two-plus years since the NFL and NFLPA agreed to conduct HGH testing, the parties hadn’t been talking about how to make it actually happen.  So it’s a good thing, we suppose, that they continue to talk.

It’s not so good, however, that they continue to fail to strike a deal.

They have a deal on the key issues relating to HGH testing.  The agreement includes third-party arbitration regarding discipline imposed for positive tests.  The sticking point continues to be whether the Commissioner will have exclusive jurisdiction over discipline imposed for reasons unrelated to a positive test.

Per Albert Breer of NFL Network, the two sides met again this week to continue to discuss the issue.  Breer writes that it’s not NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith but the board of player representatives that is pushing for Commissioner Roger Goodell to yield his ability to handle appeals of discipline imposed for violations of the law relating to HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs.  The players, according to Breer, cite last year’s bounty case as the reason for their unwillingness to allow Goodell to have complete say over the discipline imposed and the appeal process.

While their sensitivity makes sense given the decision of former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to scuttle the discipline imposed by Goodell against various current and former Saints players, this specific situation exhibits one major difference.  Before the league can impose discipline for violations of the law relating to PEDs, some third-party governmental entity must find that a violation occurred.

Of course, not every case of Commissioner discipline for matters unrelated to positive drug tests springs from a finding by a judge or a jury that one or more laws were broken.  Maybe the way to break the stalemate would be to allow Goodell to retain full jurisdiction over discipline imposed following guilty pleas, convictions, pleas of no contest, etc. regarding performance-enhancing drugs, and to include any punishment for behavior independent of a legal finding within issues that will be subject to outside arbitration.

We don’t expect either side to borrow that idea (although they’re each welcome to it).  It’s an example of the kind of creativity that both parties must be willing to embrace in order to finally launch HGH testing.

Absent such creativity, it’s hard not to think the NFL, the NFLPA, or both don’t really want HGH testing to be implemented until, perhaps, the next presently-undetectable PED has been developed.

14 responses to “Talks continue toward HGH testing, but major roadblock remains

  1. It should be legal. Then people who aren’t blessed with the natural abilities to make the NFL can make it. It’s only fair if we all have equal opportunity, right? How is that for a Florio impersonation?

  2. I’m still tired of hearing how management can’t make the employees follow the rules. Even if they are new ones. Rules that is…

    Next thing you know these blow monkeys will be suing the league for alleged illnesses due to undiagnosed concussions. Oh wait….

    Take the money, take the chance and play fair. Or become an accountant. What? Some of these guys can’t count to 10? Well we still need paper boys…oh wait..again.

    I’ve been a Patriots fan for 37 years. Guys come. Guys go. But that roster is always full. They toe the line, whatever the line is or they disappear. No loss.

  3. @cocheese.
    What do ya know? Another Packer fan taking a shot at the Niners again. I thought the Bears and Vikings were your rivals. Sheesh, Niners must really be under your skin. And you call them whiners…

  4. Clay Matthews said that if it weren’t for the HGH, he wouldn’t have been able to Super-Fly-Snooka
    Kaepernick like he did.

  5. unislaya says:
    Sep 14, 2013 9:32 PM
    Clay Matthews said that if it weren’t for the HGH, he wouldn’t have been able to Super-Fly-Snooka
    Kaepernick like he did.

    Man, that is an excellent, smart, intelligent and cohesive statement. On the same matter, Patrick Willis said he’d be bagging groceries if it weren’t for HGH.

  6. “HGH and steroids are not the same thing. They are usually grouped together in order to make people think they are the same, and since no fans feel like looking up the information for themselves, they believe everything they read about the subject in sports media. The term PED is one that makes people think bigger, faster, stronger, and taking HGH will not accomplish that for you. It’s why Adderall will soon be off the PED list. HGH is used as a recovery aid, to not only recover from injuries quicker, but to also recover from the grind a 16 game NFL season puts on the players’ bodies.”

    That should be the way this article ended.

  7. Major roadblock = removing HGH from the league will make players smaller, weaker, and slower. Let’s stop pretending like we want the NFL to be without roided out freaks, shall we?

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