NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith recently sent a letter out to players supporting the human growth hormone testing policy just adopted by the MLB. The policy allows the league to conduct random, unannounced blood testing, while also giving players a chance to appeal to a neutral arbitrator if they disagree with findings.
In the letter, Smith decried the NFL for allegedly trying to take away players' rights to challenge the findings from drug testing. He agreed with baseball's testing methods, however. Smith's concession could represent a major step toward decreasing the prevalence of performance-enhancing substances in football.
HGH is notoriously difficult to test for without random testing. Only blood samples can be used as a reliable measure, and because the substance leaves the bloodstream so quickly, abusers can often plan ahead to pass tests they know are upcoming.
As Grant Brisbee points out, the MLBPA had long been opposed to any kind of blood testing before coming around. It appears that the NFLPA may be ready to concede, as well, if they can work out a compromise with the NFL front office.