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NFL Tries to Recruit Doctor Members of Congress to Encourage HGH Testing

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The NFL is trying to recruit physician Congressmen to urge the football players union to allow human growth hormone testing. The union has resisted the testing, insisting they need more information.

Business Week reports the NFL is hoping many of the 21 Republican physician-legislator members of the “GOP DocCaucus” will sign a letter by two fellow House Republicans who are doctors, which urges the NFL and the NFL Players Association to begin testing this season.

According to the article, the letter, which has not been released publicly, says, “Given our unique perspective as doctors-turned-lawmakers, we believe that preventing HGH’s illegal possession and use—particularly among young people—is an important public health policy goal. Those who take HGH without a prescription are breaking the law and risking numerous negative side-effects, including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, harm to reproductive health, thyroid problems and abnormal growth of bone and connective tissue.”

Earlier this month, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency criticized the NFL Players Association for opposing testing of its players for HGH. The new NFL labor contract allows HGH testing, but only if the players union approves it.

The union has said it has concerns about whether the established ratio for a positive HGH test is appropriate for professional football players. 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.

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