ProFootballTalk received a statement from Dick Butkus involving the use of PED’s in the NFL. The news came out on the same day as the NFL’s concussion settlement with former players, but the strength of Butkus words as well as his reputation within the NFL as a legendary defensive player make this a very newsworthy topic.
“It is inexcusable to not have HGH testing in place for the 2013 season,” the Hall of Famer said in a statement released to PFT. ”If you care about the health and safety of players, you should not play without first conducting HGH testing. Guys playing clean in the NFL are getting the short end of the stick. They are being put at risk and penalized for doing things the right way. Most importantly, young players at every level are watching and paying attention. They are waiting for the players to lead.”
Butkus didn’t mention that HGH creates more impactful collisions due to abnormally athletic players coming into the NFL by the truckload each and every year, some of them clean, some of them not so much. Butkus has had enough and chose his words very carefully in his statement. Butkus wants to see NFL players held accountable for cheating and giving a disadvantage to those who have played by the rules, and it is clear that he wants it now.
That likely won’t happen as the HGH testing motion is still being passed through with the NFLPA and the NFL trying to iron out all of the details in what is a very complex issue for the league and the union to come to terms on. Naturally the majority of players want testing, but the power of Roger Goodell has been an underlying disagreement between the two parties.
PFT pointed out that the implementation of HGH testing hinges on the NFL and the NFLPA reaching an agreement on appeals arising from discipline imposed for violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy arising not from testing. While the NFL is willing to use third-party arbitration for positive steroids, HGH, and other PED tests, the league has refused to strip from Commissioner Roger Goodell the traditional authority over discipline arising from violations of the law relating to performance-enhancing drugs.
Until that agreement can be made, don’t hold out on HGH testing coming to the NFL anytime soon.