NFL Lockout Watch, Day 59: WADA Could Oversee Drug Testing Without New CBA
The NFL has talked to WADA "about overseeing testing of players for performance-enhancing drugs if a federal appeals court forces the league to stop the lockout and put in place rules for operating the league this season," according to an NFL official cited by Judy Battista of the N.Y. TIMES. The NFL and NFLPA "have resisted third-party administration of drug testing," but without a CBA, the league "would be able to unilaterally impose a drug-testing program and penalties -- much as it could impose rules related to the salary cap and free agency -- although it could be subject to challenge by players in court." WADA's oversight "could even eventually include blood tests" for HGH. Battista notes among the "other options is using the National Center for Drug Free Sport to conduct the drug testing." That organization "already collects urine samples for NFL tests." The league "would probably leave testing for drugs like marijuana and cocaine to the teams." The NFL exec said that the league is "ready to resume drug testing immediately" if the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals "orders it to resume operations, which could happen as soon as this week" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/9).