DeMaurice Smith: Neutral arbitration disagreement continues to hold up HGH testing

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NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith held a press conference in New York City on Thursday and took a less contentious stance with the league on some issues than he has in the past.

He applauded the league’s drug program and their willingness to revisit issues over time, for example. One way they’re doing that is working toward an agreement on HGH testing, something that Smith said is 98 percent done. The two sides continue to disagree about a neutral arbitrator that would rule on any disputes instead of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith cited a recent case from baseball as part of the union’s belief that a neutral arbitrator is necessary in all cases rather than the limited form the league wants.

“The two exceptions that the league wants to that general statement of neutral arbitration is in two instances,” Smith said. “One in which a player has been adjudicated either criminally or civilly as violating the drug policy or one where the suspension is not based on a positive test but based upon evidence the player has engaged in a violation of the drug policy. The best example of that, of course, is the Alex Rodriguez circumstance. We believe that neutral arbitration is one that enhances and strengthens our system entirely. Our players are not in favor of any of those carve-outs.”

That’s been an issue for quite a while now, although the offseason may provide more time to hammer out an agreement.

Smith also reiterated his support for the attempt to unionize by Northwestern football players and said that he had no comment on talks about expanded playoffs because the NFLPA has yet to see a proposal from the league on the subject. Smith also said that the NFLPA has wrapped up its investigation into tackle Jonathan Martin’s alleged harassment by Dolphins teammate Richie Incognito and lamented the fact that Martin didn’t speak to the union and the way both players have aired grievances publicly this week while complimenting the work the league did in their investigation.

14 responses to “DeMaurice Smith: Neutral arbitration disagreement continues to hold up HGH testing

  1. He’s full of it.

    Smith knows the huge number of players that take HGH, including league stars – and the league is aware of it too. Neither side wants it, but has to keep up the appearance of keeping the game clean.

    The time has come to either allow it completely or get the testing started for the 2014 season – four years after it was agreed to in the ‘new’ CBA.

    As it stands now, certain players get caught but the big names get a pass. Ray Lewis (torn triceps) and Terrell Suggs (Achilles) in no way heal from their injuries without the help from HGH. It’s simply wrong to allow it for some but not others.

  2. LMAO NFL players are paying this fool to enable (aka protect them from punishment for HGH) them for their entire careers. Then after they’re retired and start suffering the consequences, they can sue the NFL, and the NFLPA will HELP them.
    I hope every player who uses PEDs, steroids, HGH, gets hopelessly addicted and has to see that the NFLPA is enabling them, not looking out for their best interests.

  3. Once a pimp always a pimp. You’d think the players would get rid of this guy. He must have something on them. Wonder what?

  4. So absurd rule changes can be made mid season or asap in the offseason but hgh testing is somehow taking a decade to get done. Prob longer

  5. So…I seem to recall plenty of you on here stating the players should have negotiated better and not given Goodell complete disciplinary jury, judge, and executioner during bounty gate. Well this is their chance.

  6. @marima07 says:

    Nah, i’m happy its taking this long. I used to think the same thing but after what happened to the MLB players and congress. I bet there are a lot of i’s do dot and t’s to cross to be sure the players are protected from any crazyness that might come down on them.

  7. Just speculation:
    Part of the HGH problem is probably tied to owners and owner teams having major stock in pharmaceuticals tied to legal HGH development and use, in their financial portfolios. These owners are diversified and pharmaceuticals is the number one (outside of arms) industry in America. That is why the NFL wants to experiment with retired players and getting them on HGH to help their health issues.

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