SBD/August 14, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFLPA Agrees To HGH Blood Testing, But Arrangement With NFL Yet To Be Finalized

The NFLPA has "'tentatively agreed' to blood testing for this season, including four-game suspensions for players who test positive," according to a union memo cited by Christian Red of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The memo posted on the union's website "details a plan to conduct a population study to determine what the 'decision limit' is within the NFL population -- the average amount of natural HGH that is produced by an individual." An NFL spokesperson said that "no 'comprehensive agreement for HGH testing' has been finalized" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/14). The memo said that if "more than 5 percent of all training camp samples are above that threshold, players who fail will have ''reasonable cause'' testing during the next two seasons -- meaning they'll be subject to additional testing." The AP's Howard Fendrich noted a player "testing positive again during the 2013-14 or 2014-15 seasons will get an eight-game suspension." A player "without another positive result in that time will be removed from the extra testing program." But the memo "does not make clear what exactly the NFL has agreed to at this point or give specifics about what stands in the way of a final accord." No date has been "set for the start of testing, because there are still issues that need to be negotiated between the NFL and union, including whether the commissioner or a neutral arbitrator will handle certain types of appeals of discipline" (AP, 8/13).
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