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Still no progress on HGH testing

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Testifies On Anti-Doping Measures

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor and human resources in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Major League Baseball, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, Michael Weiner, general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association, Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Gabriel Feldman, associate professor of law and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University Law School, and Jeffrey Standen, professor of law at the Willamette University College of Law (L-R), testify on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports.(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roger Goodell; Rob Manfred; DeMaurice Smith; Michael Weiner; Travis Tygart; Gabriel Feldman; Jeffrey Standen

Brendan Hoffman

In recent weeks, the NFLPA has made it clear that the players would accept a baseball-style approach to HGH testing. In turn, the NFL has made it clear that the league would accept a baseball-style approach to HGH testing.

And yet nothing has been accomplished to finally enact HGH testing in football. Per a source with knowledge of the negotiations, no progress has been made.

The problem is that HGH testing has become tied up in various other issues, and the players believe (rightly or wrongly) that agreeing to HGH testing should yield concessions elsewhere from the NFL. The league believes that the players already agreed to HGH testing as part of a broader labor deal in which concessions were made by both sides, and that there should be no further concessions on the question of how the existing agreement for HGH testing will be implemented.

The union has persisted in its position despite a recent vow from Congress to conduct hearings that would entail players being called to testify. For now, that threat apparently is being regarded as hollow.

It could be that the two sides won’t get serious about striking a deal on HGH testing until a player or union representative is asked to put his hand in the air for the taking of the oath to tell the truth. Once testimony begins, both the league and the union stand to lose a lot, given the widespread belief that HGH use is something much more than a fringe problem in pro football.