The NFL and NFLPA have officially agreed on a new PED policy. The NFLPA issued a press release about this last week, but then the NFL countered by saying it was not finalized. Today, it is officially official. The PED policy is done, while the substance abuse policy is close to finished.
The new PED policy states that HGH testing will begin as soon as the end of this month. There has always been some chatter about HGH use in the NFL, but there has been nothing remotely definitive on how many players use it. I'd imagine some players that currently use HGH are trying to find out how quickly it cycles out of their system. I emailed a doctor I know to get more on that, but does anybody know off hand? Someone told me one Olympic test can find it from up to 21 days prior. I've also read it is no more than a day or two, so who knows.
It will be interesting to see how quickly the first positive test happens. Given the so-called confidentiality of the testing, I'm sure it will be announced as another Adderall positive test.
The other news from the PED policy is that positive tests for MDMA (and other stimulants) in the offseason will fall under substance abuse. In-season tests will continue to fall under the PED policy. This means Broncos WR Wes Welker, Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick, and Rams WR Stedman Bailey all are immediately reinstated, which means they can play this weekend. The Broncos are facing the Seattle Seahawks up at the CLink, so this is kind of a big deal. I imagine he will be on a fairly limited snap count, but we'll see.
Editor's Note: This has no bearing on Aldon Smith. He remains suspended.
The new policy punishment breaks down as follows:
2 games: Use of a diuretic or masking agent
4 games: Use of steroid, stimulant, HGH, etc
6 games: Attempt to manipulate a test