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SBD/Issue 236/Leagues & Governing Bodies
NFL Looking At Strengthening Drug-Testing Policy This Season
Published September 6, 2006
|Gene Upshaw Promises To
Oppose Blood Testing
MCCAIN: U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has been active in efforts to strengthen drug testing in sports, said of the difference in perception between how MLB and the NFL handle drug issues, “[The NFL has] a great PR machine. When Gene Upshaw and [former Commissioner Paul] Tagliabue testified, they were very convincing. ... And so I think they’re getting off more lightly than perhaps they should” (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 9/6).
POLLING THE PLAYERS: In N.Y., Gary Myers polled a panel of seven NFL players on five issues related to performance-enhancing drugs. Following are the questions and responses.
Q1: Is NFL drug testing “almost a joke?”
Don’t Know: 1
The yes vote “came from a player disgusted with the testing procedure for cocaine, marijuana, etc. Once a player comes up clean in his preseason test, he has a free ride the rest of the year.”
Q2: Are players finding a way to cheat on the test?
Don’t Know: 2
Q3: Are there players in the league using steroids?
Don’t Know: 2
One player said, “It’s possible. Very possible.” Another added there is probably a “handful of guys” doing steroids.
Q4: Are there players in the league using HGH?
Don’t Know: 5
Q5: Has the NFL been flying under the radar because of the focus on steroids in baseball?
Don’t Know: 0
One player: “Maybe baseball has drawn more attention to the minor abuses in the NFL, but I don’t think it’s a problem in our league” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/6).