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NFL Lockout Watch, Day 14: League Insistent On HGH Testing In New CBA
Published March 25, 2011
RULES GO OUT THE WINDOW: In DC, Mark Maske notes the NFL's drug-testing program for players is "no longer in effect" during the lockout, and "some question whether the league can punish players for violations of its personal conduct policy committed during the lockout." Also, because the players have decertified their union, the NFLPA "no longer polices agents." Sports attorney David Cornwell, who represents players on a variety of issues, said, "It's all uncharted territory from here on out. Everything that emanates from the Players Association regulating agents is suspended. And everything that emanates from the NFL regarding the regulation of players is suspended." But CBS analyst Charley Casserly said that the "lack of testing might not be quite as alarming as it sounds because the program will return well before games are played." Maske notes "one suggestion quietly being contemplated by some agents is phasing the drug-testing program back into operation, with an initial grace period, once the lockout ends." But Birch said that "there is 'no basis' for anything other than putting testing for steroids and other drugs back into effect immediately" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/25).
PLAYER'S PERSPECTIVE: Free agent CB and Ravens player rep Chris Carr said that he "considered it 'disingenuous' when owners suggested the players walked away from the negotiating table -- and a good offer -- in Washington two weeks ago." Carr: "It's been very clear that we're the ones who want to negotiate. Every single player on the executive committee was at the mediation every single day. We always had people with influence there. They had nobody with decision-making capabilities until after we won the court case." Carr said that the owners' final offer was "not one the players could accept." Carr: "If we want to screw over the players who get in the league when we're done, we could sign this and I'll be happy. But it was just not a good deal at all" (Baltimore SUN, 3/25).
FANS GETTING INVOLVED: In Cleveland, Pat Galbincea reports Consolidated Graphics Group Chair & CEO Ken Lanci "sued the NFL, the Cleveland Browns and the league's 31 other teams on Thursday, aiming to save the upcoming football season." Lanci claims that the NFL lockout "violates his private seat license contract with the Browns and jeopardizes his right to watch a full season of home games" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 3/25).