Adolpho Birch: HGH testing could begin before Week 1

With a new policy in place to test for the use of HGH – human growth hormone – the NFL will be far ahead of the other major professional sports in terms of policing its league.

The owners and players agreed to testing for HGH in the new collective bargaining agreement, a step that is going to cost the league millions of dollars. They’re not wasting any time, either. According to Adolpho Burch, the league’s drug czar, testing could begin before Week 1 – or in less than four weeks.

Players will be subject to multiple tests on a year-round basis without any prior notice. Players can be tested up to six times in the offseason, meaning it could be difficult for doping players to skate by undetected. The tests will be random but players with past positive tests – even ones that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in college – can be tested more regularly.

It’s a big step for the NFL and it will be interesting to see what kind of results these tests bring. Could dozens of players be caught in a short period of time? Stay tuned. The tests are right around the corner.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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