The NFL and the NFL players agreed as part of the new CBA to include HGH testing as soon as both sides could agree on process, which has been an ongoing dialogue related to the testing procedure. Last month, congress stepped in and invited NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to come to Capitol Hill to discuss HGH testing.
Both sides have now accepted the invitation and the meeting is expected to take place on Friday.
This meeting comes on the heels of a letter that came out this week, signed by 23 scientists and lab directors from around the world, endorsing the HGH testing procedure that has been under question. The letter stated, “Any suggestion in the press that its accuracy is a matter of debate is incorrect.”
“We want to take the opportunity to confirm that the test itself is scientifically accepted and has undergone extensive evaluation.”
League spokesman Greg Aiello responded to the letter, saying, “This further demonstrates that there is simply no excuse for delaying the start of HGH testing in the NFL.”
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah responded today, saying that the NFLPA has at no time questioned the safety or the accuracy of the proposed HGH testing procedures.
Atallah explained that their concern arises from where the limits are set by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and what ratio of naturally occurring HGH WADA considers acceptable.
So far, WADA has refused to share details on how the limits were set. This has created a concern that some football players, who are pretty far outside of the normal bell curve of the population, may have naturally higher levels, which may result in a false positive.
In other words – if the data used to validate the test came from sampling 130-pound male cyclists, does it apply female swimmers, or a 280-pound weightlifter? It’s a fair question, and the validation methods and testing data should be made available in order to ensure that the limits are set at appropriate levels.
Atallah also pointed out that the scientists and lab directors who signed the letter this week have ties to WADA, making their support of the WADA test rather self-serving.
Maybe the meetings this week will help to address the remaining issue of setting limits for the test.
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