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Football Players Union Not Ready to Test for Human Growth Hormone

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The football players union has said it is not ready to test players for Human Growth Hormone (HGH), despite urging from two members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The union said it wants more scientific information before it will agree to testing, The New York Times reports.

In July, the National Football League (NFL) and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) approved a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement that included testing players annually and randomly for HGH. This agreement would make the NFL the first professional sports league to test for HGH. The Olympics have been testing for HGH since 2004 and Major League Baseball subjects its minor league players to this test.

Since the collective bargaining agreement was signed, the players have raised a number of issues about the HGH test and the new testing protocol has not yet been implemented. Congressman Darrell Issa of California and Congressman Elijah Cummings of Maryland requested that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and Travis Tygart of the United States Anti-Doping Agency meet with them to clarify the impasse.

After the two Congressmen met with officials from the league, the union and the United States Anti-Doping Agency, the legislators said an agreement had been reached on HGH testing, but the union disagreed.

The union has concerns about whether the established ratio for a positive HGH test is appropriate for professional football players, according to the newspaper. The union said it wants information from doping officials about what the thresholds are for a positive test, and will not allow testing to start until it reviews that data. The legislators said if blood collection for testing does not begin within two weeks, they will call another meeting.

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