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NFL Evolution exclusive: What’s behind HGH testing dispute? (1 Viewer)



NFL Evolution exclusive: What’s behind HGH testing dispute?
By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

Human growth hormone testing has been a hot topic in the NFL for nearly two years, even before the latest collective bargaining agreement was signed 20 months ago. While both the league and the NFL Players’ Association agreed to start HGH testing, negotiations have dragged over the procedure with lots of fingers being pointed.

Since then, many players have gone on record that HGH testing needs to start now and two congressmen have asked the NFL and the NFLPA to testify on Capitol Hill as to why testing has yet to begin.

In an exclusive report for NFL Evolution, NFL Network’s Jeff Darlington looked at the reasons why the NFL and the players union have yet to come to an agreement on implementation of the testing.

First, human growth hormone is a banned substance in the NFL. Dr. Alan Rogol, the vice president of the Endocrine Society, said players could come back better and quicker from an injury with HGH use. However, many doctors believe it can also lead to diabetes, joint problems and cardiovascular issues.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s senior vice president for law and labor policy, has been negotiating the issue for years. He said he doesn’t know how many players are using HGH.

“The important thing is to implement testing so we can reduce whatever use there is,” he said.

George Atallah, the NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs, said HGH testing is important and the players want it. He said the union wants a general population study to help determine the baseline HGH levels in NFL players.

“We have to make sure they apply to the player population,” Atallah said. “Then and only then can we become comfortable with how to proceed.” Rogol said such a study is unnecessary because the levels between football players and the average person are minute.

Also, Atallah said the current form of HGH testing is not foolproof and the NFLPA wants arbitration for all forms of drug testing. However, Birch said the NFL has been offering third-party arbitration for drug-test results.

“We’ve offered the appeals process and rights that afford to players under the Major League Baseball policy, which is what our union asked for,” Birch said. He added the stalling by the union increases the perception that HGH testing is not a big deal.

“And to us it is a very big deal,” Birch said.”
Better performance, faster recovery from injuries, therefore increasing the likelihood of A) there being bigger stars than ever before and B) those stars getting back on the field as fast as possible when injured...all that added up makes it pretty obvious why there's been a delay. Makes you wonder why anyone's pushing for this, kinda.


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