The NFL season will start without the league testing players for HGH or human growth hormone.
While the players and owners agreed in the new collective bargaining agreement struck in July to blood-testing for the performance-enhancing drug, it’s not going to happen just yet. Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports the NFL informed owners today the season would start without a plan in place.
The sides have yet to agree on “testing procedures,” per the report, with NFLPA officials concerned about the safety of such tests as well as reliability.
“Although the CBA reflects a commitment to implement [HGH] testing by the start of the 2011 regular season, it is apparent that we will be unable to do so because of the Union’s continued refusal to accept the validity of the tests developed by the World Anti-Doping Agency that are used in Olympic sports and minor league baseball,” Jeff Pash, the NFL’s executive vice president of labor, wrote in a memo to owners that Maske obtained.
It will be interesting to see how this one drags on. The NFL has been anxious to get the program rolling and wants to have it in place before now.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune