SBD/October 26, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Members Of Congress Push NFL, NFLPA To Resolve HGH Testing Dispute

Three members of Congress yesterday called “for a hearing on the delay in beginning testing for human growth hormone in the NFL,” according to Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. The call by members of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, which “asks for a hearing to begin as soon as possible, figures to increase the pressure on both sides to end the impasse.” U.S. Reps Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter, “This delay is a cause for concern. ... Committee hearings will allow us to learn about these issues, hearing from top scientists about the validity of HGH testing and from the NFL and the NFLPA about the extent of HGH use in the league and their plans for testing to eliminate such use.” The NFL yesterday said that a hearing “should not be necessary;” the union said that it “welcomed a hearing” (N.Y. TIMES, 10/26). A SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE editorial states, “Because of copycat HGH use by high school and college football players, this is a bigger public health issue than it might first seem. NFL players are influential role models. If Congress jumps into the fray, as it did with Major League Baseball and steroids, maybe common sense can prevail” (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/26). In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes under the header, “On HGH Testing Delay, NFL Players’ Union Coming Off As Self-Delusional And Obstructionist.” The NFLPA, which “has given in to the owners on too many other issues such as guaranteed salaries and shared revenues, is dragging its feet on this of all matters.” It is the “wrong time to get self-righteous about civil rights” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/26).
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