Nearly three years ago, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to implement HGH testing. And they’ve yet to actually implement it, due to a series of roadblocks and hurdles that currently has the two sides squabbling not over HGH testing but the Commissioner’s power when it comes to players disciplined for PED violations unrelated to positive drug tests.
Meanwhile, more and more kids are using HGH. As mentioned earlier in the morning on The Dan Patrick Show, a new survey featured at Time.com shows that 11 percent of 3,705 high-school students admitted to using HGH without a prescription. That’s an increase from five percent in 2012 and 2011.
It’s entirely possible that the ongoing discussion of HGH arising from the inability of the NFL and NFLPA to actually implement testing has increased national awareness of HGH, introducing more kids to the product. And with the NFL still not testing for it, kids looking for a reason to justify the use of HGH could easily twist the lack of testing into a belief that the NFL doesn’t really think it’s a big deal.
The NFL acts like HGH is a big deal, but the NFL won’t do what needs to be done to get HGH testing rolling. While it’s understandable that the league doesn’t want to set a bad precedent by yielding to the union a little-used slice of Roger Goodell’s authority, the league office is full of very smart people who should be able to find a way to craft a win-win.
As a result, the impression lingers that the league is trying to avoid a lose-lose, in which HGH testing would expose a major PED problem and sideline many of the men fans pay to watch play football. Some even wonder whether the unspoken goal of the protracted delay is to allow players who require some sort of pharmaceutical enhancement to find a comparable product that isn’t detected via current testing or easily masked.
Regardless, in the three years since the league and union agreed to adopt something other than the honor system for HGH, more kids are using it. Which makes it even more important for the NFL and NFLPA to make a strong statement by finally testing for HGH and suspending those caught using it.