Senator McCain urges NFL, NFLPA to break hGH stalemate


More than three years ago, the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to implement HGH testing.  Since then, however, they’ve failed to reach an actual agreement pursuant to which HGH testing would occur.  Per multiple reports, the impasse continues regarding the question of whether violations arising from something other than a positive test will be resolved by Commissioner Roger Goodell or by an independent arbitrator.

At a time when neither side will blink, a prominent politician hopes to clunk their heads together.

“With the new [NFL] season set to kick off tomorrow night, I write to express profound disappointment that random testing for human growth hormone (hGH) has still not been implemented in the NFL despite all sides committing to it more than three years ago in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement,” Senator John McCain writes in a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.  “This inexplicable failure should be embarrassing to both owners and players, as it erodes fans’ confidence in the integrity of a great American sport, and sends a dangerous message to young athletes that there are no consequences for hGH use by the NFL players they admire and seek to emulate.”

McCain’s letter points to a recent study regarding increased hGH use by teenagers within the past year.

“This study should serve as a wake-up call to the entire NFL community, that it must fulfill its responsibilities to set the standard for clean competition and serve as a positive, healthy example to young athletes across the country and the world,” McCain writes.

McCain wants to get the issue resolved, and to get there he wants to know precisely where the two sides currently are.

“In reply to this letter, please state your current position on hGH testing and your plans for working to reach agreement on implementation this year,” McCain said.  “Following through on your commitment will be part of the legacy you leave this great game.”

McCain is right.  At a time when the two sides have found a middle ground on the topic of whether the blackout rule should continue, they should be able to forge a consensus on the far more important topic of hGH testing.  The league consistently has explained privately that it’s not interested in forcing the issue, since the players ultimately must be willing to submit to blood testing for hGH.  The union consistently has declined to agree to the terms the NFL has proposed.

If the only remaining issue relates to the appeal of violations arising from positive tests, the NFL should call what may be a bluff by the union and agree to proceed.  Even then, testing wouldn’t commence until a population study determined the existing baseline hGH levels in professional football players has concluded.

Still, until an agreement is reached, the population study can’t start.  Until that happens, some will wonder whether both sides hope to delay the process long enough to give the players a full and fair opportunity to quit using hGH — and possibly to find something else for which the NFL doesn’t currently test.

50 responses to “Senator McCain urges NFL, NFLPA to break hGH stalemate

  1. so many drugs to take. so many ways to cheat. the more testing that arises will just increase the ways cheaters get around it. my goodness we are a despicable animal.

  2. The NFL is doing the same thing as baseball did with steroids turn a blind eye to the issue and watch the money pile up. They’ll do something when a Jose Canseco whistleblower type will say something because then they absolutely have to……

  3. some NFLer taking a stubstance that doesn’t even have proven negative effects really has this on their short list of important things to do?

  4. Didn’t know HGH use was so rampant in the NFL. All I ever hear about is booze, weed and uppers. High school kids must have some good sources if they know pro players are using. Maybe the good senator needs to ring up MLB and their well-documented history and current usage. He’d probably get more raw data from them.

  5. Maybe if you politicians in Washington DC didnt waste so much of your time and our tax dollars on NFL drug testing and team names, Americans would be put back to work amd not losing out heads overseas.

  6. How’s that National Debt coming along? I recently started taking Mandarin Chinese so I’ll be able to understand what our future ruler is saying to us. Notice I didn’t say president.

  7. He needs to apply everything he said to himself and the folks in DC who are supposed to be running this country. The state of the Union should be his focus, not the state of the NFL.

  8. About two years ago, Mccain was trying to pass some legislation that would have done serious damage to the nutritional supplement industry.

  9. John, with all due respect, you were never the brightest bulb in the pack, and now your pontificating on everything from the Middle East to MLB is becoming embarrassing.
    Isn’t it tIme to check into the Old Warriors Home and give the mouth a rest?

  10. McCain is not right, the issue is none of his business and neither party is under any legal obligation to respond to his letter with anything beyond a Bronx Cheer.

    The Senator has never held a real job. Every dollar he’s “earned” has been at the public trough. Shameful.

  11. I suggest you stop the stalemate on everything in Washington. Seriously this isn’t a place for the government.

  12. About 4 years ago I heard Maurice Jones Drew on radio late one night, state categorically that there will never be HGH testing in the NFL. At the time there was a plan to implement but some objection re the details from the NFLPA.
    The longer it takes, the more I am convinced that MJD knew a lot more than he alluded to on radio that night. My hunch is that HGH usage is far more prevalent than most would expect.
    I don’t understand what is happening but it is interesting to observe a much bigger number of NFL players testing positive to adderall this year. Why is it so, Mr Commissioner?

  13. As if his opinion matters. His influence on the world has no relevance to the NFL or their testing policies. It’s funny how he assumes they are going to respond (“In reply to this letter, please state…”).

  14. Yes, the NFL should d something about HGH abuse, but being lectured about it by one of the U.S. Senate’s more obnoxious hypocrites must rankle the Commish, whose father served that body well.

  15. Why the hell is McCain getting involved? None of his business. Politicians should stay out of football.

  16. McCain is the Jerry Jones of politics. He is old, senial, been in his position too long and will do and/or say anything to get himself in front of a camera. Listening to him, or taking anything he says seriously, shows an unsafe level of low judgement. Mr. McCain, please go back to begging for war in every country on the planet to please your defense industry lobbyists and stay the heck out of my football!

  17. Senator McCain was relevant 15 or so years ago. Before he lost his mind. He should shut up and stick to what he knows best, which is sitting in D.C. doing nothing.

  18. If the NFL bans HGH you will see the same effect banning steroids had on baseball. Homerun totals went back to normal and ERAs went up. In the NFL, weights of offensive and defensive lineman will return to the 280-300 range, sack totals will go down and rushing yardage will go up.

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.