SBD/August 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFLPA Study On HGH To Include Around 100 Former Players, But Is It "Smoke And Mirrors"?

A study proposed by the NFLPA to "determine the impact of human growth hormone use on players' HGH levels" will see "roughly 100 recent former players" participate, according to Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY. Two-thirds of those players "will be administered HGH, and the other third will receive a placebo." Their HGH levels will be "measured before and after the trial to determine the impact of use." It is "part of the scientific design of the population study requested by the union to determine the so-called decision limit to detect exogenous human growth hormone -- in other words, the highest HGH level a player can have without facing discipline." It was "unclear whether any ex-players had agreed to participate in the study, when the HGH would be administered or how prescriptions would be obtained for the drug." Sources on Monday said that there "remained optimism HGH testing could begin in 2013, with the appeals process the primary issue to be negotiated" (USA TODAY, 8/15). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes NFL players "have something to hide." Brennan: "It's a big secret, and a bad one. We know this because for a third consecutive season, the NFL Players Association appears to be preparing to again drag its feet rather than allow its players to be tested for HGH." What the NFLPA is proposing with the study "isn't a drug plan, it's a delay tactic, all smoke and mirrors." USADA CEO Travis Tygart said, "Something isn't right when they think that 100 tests of former players are better scientifically than 10,000 male samples -- including athletes from Major League Baseball, track and field, weightlifting and judo -- done since 2008 in worldwide sport" (USA TODAY, 8/15).

PILING ON: In DC, Nathan Fenno reports former NFLer Clinton Portis is "the lead plaintiff in an 83-player lawsuit" against the NFL "over head injuries." The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and other plaintiffs include former NFLers Daunte Culpepper and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams. The suit claims that Portis "suffers from headaches, among other problems, and is 'at heightened risk of developing further adverse neurological symptoms in the future'" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/15).
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