NFL, NFLPA getting closer to potential HGH testing, according to reports

Jason Miller

The NFL and NFLPA appear to be closer to a deal that would implement HGH testing. It will start with a population study, and we'll see where it goes from there.

In 2011, the NFL and NFLPA announced plans to eventually implement HGH testing with the new collective bargaining agreement. Two years later, it finally appears like the two sides are making progress on the issue.

According to emails obtained by USA Today Sports, the NFLPA has informed their constituents that "they will be required to provide blood samples during training camp physicals for a study on human growth hormone." As I am reading the national writers, this sounds like a procedural aspect of the process. The NFL and NFLPA have to agree on the specifics of the entire process before it can be implemented.

One NFLPA concern with HGH testing has been the need to create a population study to see what the "normal level" of HGH is in NFL players. HGH does occur naturally in the bodies, and there is contention that football players would have a naturally higher occurring level than the normal population. The veracity of that is up for debate, but if they do have a higher natural level, then it makes sense to figure that out.

These samples will not be used to suspend NFL players, but rather will simply be to determine the necessary decision limit for eventual testing and discipline.

While PEDs are constantly developing, and remaining ahead of the testers, adding HGH testing to the drug policy would be an important step forward. I actually would not expect a huge chunk of players to test positive, but it would be a step toward potentially cleaning up the game a little bit more.

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