With his eye on enhancing the NFL’s drug-testing policy, commissioner Roger Goodell has revealed he recently submitted to a blood test for human growth hormone, USA Today reported Monday.
"I wanted to see what was involved in the testing," Goodell said in a wide-ranging interview with the paper. "They came in here at 9:30 in the morning, completely unannounced, and I went through the procedure. The same one our players would go through."
Goodell is insisting that the blood tests for HGH be part of the next collective bargaining agreement, but the players union has not taken a definitive stance on the issue. NFL players, in addition to baseball players, have consistently been opposed to blood testing, arguing it could affect performance on the field.
The NFL has in recent years held off on demanding HGH tests due to concerns about the accuracy of the tests, but Goodell said the technology is catching up.
"Technology is improving," Goodell said. "It’s important for us in protecting the integrity of the league, which is my No. 1 responsibility, to make sure that we have the best drug program. There are advancements in the testing methodology."
As for whether his sample came back clean, Goodell said the results are confidential, but added, "Let me put it this way: I’m proud of my results."
HGH use is illegal in the NFL, but there is no testing in place for the substance.
"We would be naive to think that people aren’t going to cheat the system," Goodell said earlier this month. "But we have to have the best drug testing program to be able to offset it."
Major League Baseball does not test for HGH either, but commissioner Bud Selig has said he will push for it to be implemented in the next collective bargaining agreement.