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Baseball beats football to the punch on HGH testing


For those of you who don’t pay attention to other sports, you may not have heard that baseball has avoided the drama (and free publicity) that comes from a protracted labor squabble. Instead, management and labor recently worked out a new agreement, without rancor, rhetoric, or rigmaroles.

According to ESPN, the new labor deal for baseball includes an agreement that players’ blood will be tested for HGH.

Of course, the NFL’s new labor deal includes such a provision as well, but the two sides left enough wiggle room in the chapters-and-verses to allow the NFLPA to drag its feet, and the NFL has yet to muster the nerve to try to enforce the commitment via a court of law or some similar authority.

At a time when Congress has no timetable for continuing to prod the stewards of pro football toward ensuring that something other than the honor system is used to keep the sport completely clean, the decision of baseball players to accept blood testing for HGH will serve only to put more pressure on football players to do the same.

And it would be wise, both for the NFL and the union, to find a way to make that happen without Congress having to start questioning players under oath and otherwise dredging up evidence of who knew what and when they knew it about the use of HGH in pro football.