The NFL and NFLPA have not been able to reach an agreement on proper protocol to handle blood testing for HGH, despite HGH testing being agreed to as part of the new labor deal that was put together in August of 2011.
Pressure has been put on to reach an agreement and implement blood testing and the pressure will only grow now that Major League Baseball will begin random blood testing for HGH. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith likely feels the need to get a deal done and he has said that the NFL could have had testing much earlier — even before the MLB.
“As you may have heard, MLB and MLBPA reached a collectively bargained agreement with respect to in-season testing for hGH,” Smith wrote in an email to all NFLPA-certified contract advisors.
“Critical components of their agreement include: 1) MLB’s Commissioner’s Office must establish the accuracy and reliability of each allegedly positive test; 2) Players may present any evidence to challenge the accuracy, reliability, and thus the underlying scientific support for the test; and 3) all appeals are decided by neutral arbitrators. If the NFL had adopted the same positions that Major League Baseball has, the NFL could have been the first to implement hGH testing.”
Smith seems to believe hat he players would agree to testing if a neutral arbitrator would hear the appeals. If that is what’s holding up the blood testing in the NFL, then the two sides need o find a way to get this done.