SBD/February 4, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Goodell States HGH Testing Will Begin Prior To Start Of '13 Season

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during his state of the league address Friday he believes HGH testing is "going to happen prior to the 2013 NFL season." He said, "It’s the right thing to do for the players, for their health and well-being long-term. It’s the right thing to do for the integrity of the game and it’s the right thing to do to send a message to everybody else in sports. You don’t have to play the game by taking performance-enhancing drugs." Goodell later sat with NFL Network's Rich Eisen and said, "The science is there. That's clear. We want to get an agreement. I believe we'll have one in advance of this season and I think it's terrible from a health and safety standpoint of the players, from the integrity of the game and I think it sends all the wrong messages.” Goodell said there “were some questions on the appeal process that the union raised” about HGH punishments and “we got back a document to them in less than 24 hours so we can try to move this forward." The commissioner: "That should be the only remaining hurdle. There's no reason for a population study at this point with all the testing that's gone on over the last couple years” (NFL Network, 2/1). Goodell yesterday said, “I believe the union and the NFL are going to get together and get this done.” Goodell: “The science is there. … Other sports have accepted that science. We should. We should be leaders. We should be making sure they’re doing everything to protect the health of our players. We should be sending the right messages to every level of sport that this is not a part of sports. And also protecting the integrity of our game” (“Mike & Mike in the Morning,” ESPN Radio, 2/3).

FAILING THE EYE TEST
: In Phoenix, Dan Bickley wrote many players in the NFL "fail the eye test." Suspicion of HGH use has "run rampant for years, rivaling the steroid abuse that marked the previous century." But despite "all the visual warnings, no one seems all that concerned." After last week's SI report that Ravens LB Ray Lewis used deer antler extract to expedite his return from a triceps injury this season, "it's time for the league to get serious" (AZCENTRAL.com, 2/2).

PART OF THE GIVE AND TAKE: SI's Peter King said the NFLPA is “going to have to be forced by Congress to implement HGH testing." However, it will be "just another example" of the union wanting a "quid pro quo." King: "When they give up something like HGH testing, they want something in return” (“PFT,” NBC Sports Network, 2/1).
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