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NFL, players' union inch closer to deal on human growth hormone test

July 22, 2013|By Sam Farmer
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't been able to strike a deal with the NFL Players Assn. on HGH testing.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn't been able to strike a deal with… (Matt York / Associated Press )

The NFL and NFL Players Assn. are once again talking about putting a test in place for human growth hormone, although those discussions have gone back and forth over the last two years with no resolution.

“We are in active discussions with the NFLPA regarding the implementation of HGH testing for NFL players,” league spokesman Greg Aiello wrote Monday in a text message. “Those discussions are focused on a full resolution of any remaining issues, including the role of a population study.”

According to an NFLPA email obtained by the Associated Press, the league and union have jointly hired a doctor to conduct a study on NFL players that establishes a baseline for what constitutes a positive test for HGH. The union sent the email to players to explain their blood will be drawn at the start of training camps, but that those samples will only be used to establish a population study.

When the labor agreement was reached in 2011, part of that pact was an accord on HGH testing. The league has pushed for blood testing, and the union says it favors testing too but has reservations about the appeals process and how discipline is imposed.

There have been repeated false starts in which it appears the sides are ready to strike a deal, only to eventually reach an impasse.

Football is behind baseball on this front. In January, Major League Baseball and players agreed to HGH testing throughout the regular season.

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