NFLPA again blames lack of HGH testing on the NFL


With training camps opening for the fourth time since the NFL and NFLPA agreed to conduct HGH testing, the NFL and the NFLPA have still not implemented HGH testing.

In a letter sent to all players, a copy of which PFT has obtained from a league source, the NFLPA blames the lack of testing on the NFL’s ongoing refusal to “commit to fair due process for players who choose to appeal NFL discipline for alleged drug policies violations.”  That refers to the lingering impasse regarding whether the Commissioner will handle the appeals of discipline imposed for violations of the PED and HGH policy arising from something other than a positive test.  The union wants the league to extend its willingness to conduct third-party arbitration of positive PED and HGH test results to violations arising from proof of PED or HGH use coming from, for example, a BALCO or Biogenesis-style scandal.

“Players deserve a fair system, similar to Major League Baseball’s, which includes neutral arbitration for all alleged offenses of our drug policies,” the letter explains.  “Currently, the NFL has agreed to neutral arbitration for appeals based on an alleged any positive drug test, but the Commissioner wants to act as the arbitrator in the cases where a violation of the policies is not based on a positive tests (e.g., a violation of law involving banned substances or where NFL believes there is material evidence of a violation of law involving banned substances.)  Our union is committed to a fair, clean and safe game, but we are also committed to protecting your rights.”

The letter also points out that, because of the disagreement regarding appeal rights, the plug has remain pulled on a population study for determining the normal HGH concentration of NFL players, which then will help determine the permissible limits of HGH in player bodies.  Everything else is ready to go.

“[T]he Players and NFL have agreed to hGH testing, including the storage, analysis, timing, and ultimate destruction of blood tests,” the letter states.

But HGH testing still isn’t happening, because the two sides can’t resolve the question of whether violations unrelated to positive tests will stay on the Commissioner’s desk both for the punishment and for the appeal.  “[W]e are on the verge of another year without a safer and cleaner game,” the union writes.

If the NFL wants HGH testing as badly as it claims to, why not yield on that last point or at least come up with a fair compromise?  While the same argument could be turned against the union, the NFL already has agreed to third-party arbitration for the far more common circumstance of positive test results.  What’s wrong with using a neutral third party for all PED and HGH violations?

Meanwhile, the players continue to be on the honor system when it comes to using HGH, which means that they can use it as long as they don’t get caught up in a BALCO or Biogenesis-style scandal.  Coincidentally (or not), high school students are using more HGH.

16 responses to “NFLPA again blames lack of HGH testing on the NFL

  1. I wouldn’t say it’s a coincidence that more high school students are using HGH, I would say the NFL has artificially inflated those numbers by setting a bad example for America’s impressionable youth to emulate.

    They think there is a reward to using the stuff that is worth the risks of getting caught. If the NFL had all of this stuff down to a science including some great ways to deter it from being used in the pro game, then a lot of these kids might not be using it once they learn the full magnitude of the penalties and the dangers and the impressive testing and detection system that’s going to catch you. Right now they don’t get that, partly because the NFL doesn’t get that.

  2. Talk about deflection. Everyone knows the NFLPA is totally against HGH testing despite their claims to the contrary. Their PR campaign is so transparent to those with at least half a brain. Sadly that applies to less than half the US population. Probably a lot less.

  3. Oh please.

    Without HGH Peterson would have never come back so quickly. Not would he have even sniffed the rushing record. Too bad he didn’t get that asterisk.

  4. Wow! …some fans just can’t come to grips with the fact that AP is better than anybody who has EVER played for their team

  5. The NFLPA wants to strip the commissioner of his commissioner duties.

    Sorry students, but you are still subject to being sent to the principals office.

  6. I don’t often side with unions, but I am completely with the NFLPA on this one. Someone needs to keep Goodell in check on issues like this. He’s a commissioner, not a dictator.

  7. The CBA defines what the punishment is for HGH infractions.

    If you test positive, what exactly do you want to appeal? If you test hot, you get X suspension, based on the contract you signed. There is no arbitrary punishment at anyones discression. It is standardized.

    There is nothing here to dispute…the NFLPA is just trying to hold off of HGH testing. And that is despicable.

  8. If the NFLPA truly cared about a clean game, they could easily implement HGH testing on their own without the involvement of the NFL. All smoke and mirrors. Wouldn’t surprise me if they were working with the NFL to make sure HGH testing NEVER gets implemented.

  9. eagleswoot I’m not sure you are understanding the issue here. The NFLPA has agreeded to standardize punishment if a player tests positive. This is for cases where the evidence is circumstantial, ala A-Roid. Goodell wants to hold the power of punishment without proof and the NFLPA is against that.

  10. The HGH testing process is itself a joke. I can’t help but feel like this is a bad version of The Prestige. Focusing on whether the NFL or NFLPA wants the test is misdirection to hide the real trick from fans- that the test itself is garbage and can’t catch anyone.

    HGH (real and synthetic) has been widespread in sports for 30+ years. They still can’t develop a test that actually works. The NFL’s version would be particularly jokeworthy because the baseline levels would be derived from active player samples (that would still on HGH at the time). That makes it impossible to test positive even if the testing window was large enough to actually catch people.

  11. There would be no football without HGH hence why nothing has been done in the four years since testing was agreed upon. There will always be excuses as long as they can drag it out and keep the billions flowing in

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