Goodell wants to find HGH test resolution
Roger Goodell joined other sports commissioners who begrudgingly went to Capitol Hill to talk about performance-enhancing drugs in recent years.
On Sunday, the NFL commissioner all but welcomed Congressional intervention as a means to broker an agreement with the NFL Players Association to institute testing for human growth hormone.
“They have been very clear that if it’s not done, they will move forward with hearings,” Goodell said before the New England Patriots-New York Jets game. “We would like Congress to be focusing on other matters, but we’d welcome (hearings) if we’re still in that position."
The NFL and the players union did agree to test for HGH — a performance-enhancing drug that can increase lean muscle mass and aid in recovery — in the league’s new collective bargaining agreement. The NFLPA, however, has blocked implementation of the test as they continue to question the science behind the test.
“Listen, we want a valid test, too,” Goodell said. “We are not asking for a test just to say we’re testing. It’s been in place for seven years. The Olympics are using it. Minor league baseball is using it. A variety of others sports are using that throughout the globe. The science is all there and people have said it’s there.”
NFLPA put out a statement last week saying that it would agree to testing for HGH if a population study of the NFL players. The union said the league's players could have higher levels than HGH than the broad cross section of athletes studied by Word Anti-Doping Agency before the HGH test was first used in the 2004 Summer Olympics.
“I think they’ve run out of questions,” Goodell said. “I think all the answers have been given. It’s time to start the testing and that’s what we agreed to do."
A message left with the NFLPA on Sunday night was not immediately returned.
Goodell said the league is “going to pursue every option” to get the test in place, but it doesn’t appear the league — at least in the near term — will force the issue by filing a grievance or using another legal maneuver. Since the only accepted way to test for HGH is through a blood draw, the league wants the NFLPA’s cooperation.
"We think that should be resolved by the two parties,” Goodell said.
Officials from the NFL and NFLPA met with leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform behind closed doors on Oct. 14 and the two sides appeared to be close to an agreement. The two sides agreed to meet back in Washington in a month, although no meeting has currently been scheduled.