Whenever the NFL and the NFL Players Association begin negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the league will likely insist on Human Growth Hormone (HGH) testing, according to a report by Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com. Adolpho Birch, an NFL vice president and general counsel, is quoted as saying that the previous caution with such testing has passed and that it is necessary to implement for the "integrity of the game." Users of HGH are supposedly able to return from injury quicker, but could also experience deleterious side effects later on.
According to the report, this issue was discussed in negotiations before the lockout was imposed, but to what extent is unknown. The NFLPA has been against HGH testing because the only way to currently discover the substance is after drawing blood with a needle. A urine test, which is not yet available, would be the preferred form of administration.
If HGH testing is part of the next CBA, the NFL will be the only one of the four major sports leagues to test its players. An HGH testing system is currently in place for Minor League Baseball, however.
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