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Tag:HGH testing
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:57 pm
 

NFLPA HGH proposal includes in-season testing

The NFLPA is willing to agree to in-season HGH testing. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The ongoing battle between the NFLPA and NFL over the implementation of HGH testing has fallen to the background as the playoffs have heated up, but both sides are still working on getting a plan in place to begin testing for the growth hormone as soon as possible. (Though as we wrote earlier in the year, 2011 isn't happening, obviously.)

CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported on Sunday's version of The NFL Today that the union's latest proposal to the league contains a heretofore unheard of provision: in-season testing for HGH.

"On Friday the NFLPA sent the NFL a new proposal," Casserly reported Sunday. "The highlight to that proposal? They agreed to having testing in-season. In their previous proposals they only had testing in the offseason and at the beginning of training camp."


Testing in the middle of the season is something that has to happen with HGH testing. Otherwise avoiding being caught for HGH is a simple matter of "not using it until you start playing" which kind of defeats the purpose.

So it's good that the union is willing to budge off that stance.

And it'll be even better if the NFLPA budging off that point can get the NFL and WADA to budge off the idea that it's impossible to give the players their own culture sample for studying the level of HGH in NFL players.

Doing so would likely lead to a quicker resolution of this issue.

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Posted on: December 14, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Rodgers: NFL HGH proposal 'absolutely ludicrous'

By Will Brinson

Last week, we noted that there are significant differences between the NFL and NFLPA when it comes to HGH testing and that it's unlikely to be implemented any time soon, primarily because the union wants more transparency from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) when it comes to their testing procedures.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was asked about the testing procedures on his weekly radio show and called the NFL's proposal "ludicrous."

"The HGH testing which was proposed by the NFL was absolutely ludicrous," Rodgers said on "Tuesdays with Aaron" with Jason Wilde on ESPN 540. "Our people went up to Canada and talked to the experts up there, and the testing they wanted to implement was highly unreliable. All the data that we were told, the results, no research behind it."

There's plenty of "research" behind the testing; otherwise the Olympics wouldn't utilize the WADA standard testing. But Rodgers is onto something when he points out how unreliable the test could be.

While WADA staunchly denied there are differences between the naturally-produced levels of HGH in American football players when asked by CBSSports.com last week, there's no guarantee that it's true.

And that's why the NFLPA and it's members are treading carefully when it comes to an HGH agreement -- once they go down that rabbit hole, there's no coming back.

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Posted on: August 17, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Podcast: AJ Hawk, Power Rankings, good/bad/ugly

Posted by Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Power rankings time! Pete Prisco's got his out and what would a Wednesday be without some lively debate about where teams rank before the season even starts? And with our columnists dispatched to three specific locations, we talk about breaking the NFL into three catagories (good/bad/ugly) -- where does your team fall?

Also, A.J. Hawk, linebacker for the defending champion Green Bay Packers, joins the podcast. We talk about the Packers flying under the radar, if they're motivated by the Eagles being a "dream team," how he's embracing a role as a leader and what he thinks about HGH testing.

"I think it's awesome that they're going to start testing for HGH," Hawk told CBSSports.com. "I think it's a great thing for the game. I think baseball showed throughout their whole time that if you don't test for something, guys are going to do it. I have no idea -- I've obviously never watched anyone or seen anyone do it, but I'm not stupid. I know it's going on.

"They can take my blood every single day if they want. I won't oppose that ever."

So, yeah, excellent stuff -- we also talk about his work with Gatorade on their "Beat the Heat" campaign, on the 10-year anniversary of Korey Stringer's death. (Go to NFL.com/TrainingCamp to download the free Heat Safety Kit.)

Ryan and I also discuss whether the recent Miami scandal will have any effect on current NFL players and talk about Aaron Maybin jumping ship from the Bills to the Jets.

All that -- and much, much, more -- by clicking the play button below. Also, SUBSCRIBE VIA ITUNES.


If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.



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Posted on: August 3, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 4:22 pm
 

NFL says it's closer to testing players for HGH

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Days before the players agreed to the new collective bargaining agreement, but after the owners had already voted to ratify their version of it, NFL attorney Jeff Pash told the New York Daily News that the league not only plans to institute random blood testing for human growth hormone during the 2011 season, but that the NFLPA fully supports it.

"We expect that we will have testing for HGH," Pash said on July 21. "I think that both sides believe that's important for the integrity of the game and that we should continue to be leaders here. I think that's a view that's strongly held by the players as it by us. "

On Tuesday, Judy Battista of the New York Times reported that "The NFL, whose new collective bargaining agreement is expected to be completed and ratified by Thursday, could begin blood testing for human growth hormone as soon as September, according to a person briefed on the negotiations who was not authorized to speak publicly, making it the first major North American sports league to conduct such testing on its top players with the union’s consent."

The potential bump in the road? Assuming that the new CBA will be completed and ratified by Thursday. CBSSports.com's Will Brinson wrote earlier Wednesday that some players "doubt" a CBA will be ratified in time, although CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman hears that there's nothing to worry about and everything is still on track.

The NFLPA has long opposed testing, citing concerns about reliability and calling the process "invasive," but Battista writes that both NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "have long seen a need for growth hormone testing and want to cast the NFL as a leader in combating drugs in major sports. … Details to be worked out include how many players will be tested for performance-enhancing drugs and how they would be randomly selected when drug testing resumes. There was no drug testing of any kind conducted during the lockout."

In July, Pash suggested that while there were some issues that needed to be ironed out, "we would hope that [testing] could be ramped up by the start of the season." On Tuesday, he sounded similarly encouraged, even if the testing is pushed back a few weeks. “I think both sides have a commitment to being leaders in this area and to having the best possible program and they recognize that having testing for growth hormone is part of having the best program."

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, however, reiterated that “The players have not agreed to any comprehensive drug testing proposal,” although Freeman notes Wednesday that "One of the things the two sides have been doing is working on HGH testing. Once that is wrapped up the CBA will be finalized."

And then, hopefully, we won't have to hear the words "lockout" and "collective bargaining agreement" for at least a decade.

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 12:38 pm
 

Pash: HGH testing is coming, players support it

Posted by Ryan Wilson

There may not yet be an agreement between the owners and players on a new collective bargaining agreement, but NFL attorney Jeff Pash says that the league not only plans to institute random blood testing for human growth hormone during the 2011 season, but that the NFLPA fully supports it.

"We expect that we will have testing for HGH," Pash told the New York Daily News. "I think that both sides believe that's important for the integrity of the game and that we should continue to be leaders here. I think that's a view that's strongly held by the players as it by us.

"How soon can it happen?" Pash asked. "Some issues needed to be worked out. It will take some time to get that ramped up, but we would hope that it could be ramped up by the start of the season."

In the past, players have opposed blood tests. Former NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw said in 2006 that "It is invasive, and too many things can go wrong with this … You can call me back and tell me where you have a reliable test. A urine test. Then we'll have something to talk about. I'm not interested in turning my players into pin cushions."

And former NFL tight end Mark Breuner, during a 2010 interview with the Washington Postcalled the process "extremely invasive ... We have one of the most aggressive, productive drug-testing policies in all of sports. To go to that extreme, I'm not sure that's good for the health of an athlete."

Latest on Lockout

Pash was asked if he believes HGH is widespread among NFL players. "I'm not saying it is rampant in the league," he told the Daily News. "But what I am saying is we should be leaders in ensuring and doing everything we can to promote the integrity of the game and the health of the players, and they agree with that and we agree with that."

In March, FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez reported that Dr. Gary Wadler, who has worked closely with both the World Anti-Doping Agency and White House Office of Natural Drug Control Policy, applauded the NFL's decision to make HGH testing mandatory as part of its labor proposal to the NFLPA. Wadler also said any protests from athletes about the blood work required to conduct the test "border on the nonsensical."

"I'd be very disappointed if the NFL does not get in lock with the rest of the world -- and this goes for (Major League) baseball as well -- and employ blood testing," Wadler said at the time. "Any concerns the athletes have of a needle ... It's almost comical to think a 300-pound athlete is afraid of a little needle prick."

It appears that the NFLPA will not vote Friday on the new CBA, which means we'll have to wait at least one more day to find if, as Pash suggests, the players are on board with random blood tests for HGH.


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com