Goodell renews push for HGH testing


In August 2011, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to conduct HGH testing.  But they still have not agreed to the procedure for conducting HGH testing.  Which means that no HGH testing occurs.

The NFL hasn’t pushed the issue very aggressively, in large part because the league realizes that, before the players will have needles stuck into their bodies and blood samples drawn, they have to buy in, completely.

As the 2014 NFL draft approaches, Commissioner Roger Goodell dusts off the issue in an interview with Rich Eisen of NFL Media.

“Well, we believe there’s no reason not to have it,” Goodell said.  “We agreed to it in our Collective Bargaining Agreement three years ago.  The world has accepted the science.  There’s global understanding of that.  And the union needs to sign off on that.  It’s time to sign off on what we agreed to.  They have raised issues.  We have addressed all those issues.  They’re now raising, from time to time, issues that are completely unrelated to HGH testing.  But we think that there’s an obligation to the player’s health and safety that this should be implemented and for the integrity of the league.  And maybe more importantly, it would be sending the right message to kids who play our game and every other game.  This is not the way you play sports.  You play sports by the rules and with fairness at the top of mind.”

His points are valid.  But the lingering impasse apparently arises not from the testing protocol, but from whether Commissioner Goodell will have the power to handle the appeals of discipline imposed for violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy based on something other than a positive test, like the outcome of a criminal proceeding.  The union wants those appeals to be resolved via arbitration; the league wants those appeals to be resolved by Goodell.

That’s not how Goodell characterized the matters still in dispute.

“[T]hey’ve been unwilling or unable to agree to the testing program,” Goodell said.  “And they’ve raised things like population studies; the science is not all the way there.  In each one of those cases, they have been addressed either by us or by global standards.  HGH testing has been happening on a global basis in other sports, in Olympic sports.  That testing is there.  There are no more excuses.  Either you want to do it or you don’t want to do it.  And we clearly, as the NFL, want to do it.  And we think it’s best for the players.”

Unless something has changed dramatically since last September, the NFLPA immediately would sign off on HGH testing if the NFL agrees that the third-party arbitration for positive HGH tests would apply to other potential violations of the policy.  Frankly, the union’s position isn’t unreasonable.  If the league truly wants HGH testing, why not agree to make the appeals of all violations of the policy subject to third-party arbitration?

35 responses to “Goodell renews push for HGH testing

  1. It kind of sounds like this is the annual HGH announcement… or denouncement. All is good now. We’ll talk about it next year…

  2. Goodell’s approval rating has to be at an all-time low at the moment.

  3. Look, I don’t agree with the whole drug policy in general in most aspects of life. What you do with your body is your right. With that being said the union agreed with the NFL TWO YEARS AGO to start testing for HGH and it’s still not being tested for. Everyone knows how Roger and the NFL love to fine/suspend players for just about anything including what socks a player wears. So ask yourself, why hasn’t he just told the teams to start testing and whoever does not submit to the testing will be suspended? Is it A. He knows that well over 50% of the current players are on it and they can’t suspend over half the league? Or B. Rog is just a super nice guy?
    The whole thing is one big charade and everyone knows it.

  4. Neither side wants it. They want the fans to think they want it. That’s the difference. So once again, another offseason reminder that both sides are “working” on it.

    10:1 odds that they’re “working” on it again next offseason.

  5. OK, enough Goodell. When you test all employees of a team including the owners then cry me a river!

  6. Please just let this topic go away. I have absolutely no problem with HGH use in the league. Steroids,bad, HGH,good. Gets guys back from their injuries quicker wich is the best part.

  7. HGH has no shown no evidence of enhancing athletic performance. It, however, has displayed a lot of potential in injury recoveries. So it makes a lot of sense that “Mr. Player Safety” would attack it head-on.

  8. The trouble with trying to decipher anything Goodell says is that it’s almost always a bunch of half-truths, deliberate misrepresentations, and flat out boldfaced lies.

  9. HgH testing will never happen. Probably 70% of players are on it or have been on it.

    Then again, Goodell doesn’t really want testing– the owners are covering their backsides from future concussion-type lawsuits. Calling for testing gives them the future ability to say “Hey, we tried to make it safer for you.”

  10. As far as I am concerned, ALL NFL players use PEDs.

    And I just do not care. The sport is incredibly physical. It is nuts to think unenhanced humans could play at those levels without modern chemistry.

  11. at the end of the day, all of you with an opinion would shut up if your team won, in my opinion, its the players choice if they want to put their body at risk and life, if all they want is a bigger contract, who am I to tell them no, and who are you to tell them no, its their individual choices with all the warnings out there, but be honest, if your team wins the Super Bowl, do you really deep down care if anyone did hgh? if you can be honest, you would all say no, but this is America, not many honest people left …I don’t agree with HGH but who am I and who are you to tell an athlete you pay to go see win for your team that they can’t do something??

  12. Either legalize it completely or begin testing for it yesterday.

    Right now it’s an offense only punishable if someone gets caught. Otherwise there is an unknown amount of players using it to their advantage – healing faster than players who don’t use it.

    HGH is illegal – but the NFL and the NFLPA all look the other way because they know how high its usage is, mostly by veterans who would be out of the game sooner without it.

    But three years later it’s time to either legitimize it or accurately test for it to keep it out.

  13. So when the concussion suit goes to court the league is going to point out that bigger, faster, stronger players juiced up on illegal substances are a primary cause of more head injuries.

    Seems reasonable to me. I vote to acquit.

    Players should be suing the other players.

  14. Goodell needs to resign… he is a joke of commissioner. His rulings make little to no sense. He favors the Niners and Ravens, and there is no discussion.

  15. I don’t understand the anti-HGH agenda. HGH does not improve performance. It does not increase stamina. It does not increase size. It does not increase strength. In sum, it does not increase performance.

    What it does do is increase recovery and healing. Why is that a bad thing? In fact, if the league wants to continue to push this agenda of mid-week games and an 18 game season, then candidly they should WANT the players on HGH, because it’ll help their bodies recover quickly enough to participate in such a schedule.

    I fail to see the difference between HGH and any other therapeutic treatment to help you recover from an injury. It’s been arbitrarily labelled a performance-enhancing. Kind of like the ham n’ eggers that think creatine is a steroid (FYI – HGH isn’t a steroid, either).

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.