NFL and players union tentatively agree to HGH testing
The National Football League and its players union have tentatively agreed to human growth hormone testing for the 2013 regular season.
According to a memo released by NFL.com, the NFLPA will allow the league to test 40 blood samples a week and implement suspensions for those who test positive.
The memo states that every player will provide a blood sample for a “population study” that will determine what level of HGH will result in penalties. Players will then randomly be chosen each week during the regular season for testing. The first offense for any player who tests positive will be a four-game suspension.
“If a person has a level above the decision limit, they must have used exogenous human growth hormone because no one can naturally produce a level above the decision limit. So, if a person has a result above the decision limit, that result constitutes a ‘positive’ test result,” the memo reads.
The NFL and its union cleared the way for HGH testing as part of a 10-year collective bargaining agreement in August 2011, but the details still had to be worked out, Bloomberg.com reports.
The league and union have felt the heat on this issue for some time. In January, Congress threatened to have NFL players testify about the matter on Capitol Hill. Considering the black cloud that has loomed over Major League Baseball since their players have testified, the NFL wanted to avoid that at all costs.