The greatest issue currently between NFL owners and the league’s Players’ Association is money--but as we’re seeing, that’s far from the only issue. The latest in the saga has to do with league’s system of drug testing.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore on Monday, joining congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) to speak to students about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs. Afterward, he told reporters that blood tests for HGH would be crucial in striking on an agreement in the labor negotiations.
"We'd be naive to think that people aren't trying to cheat the system. But we have to have the best testing program to be able to offset that," Goodell said, per ESPN.
"I made it clear to the kids in the room today that the integrity of the NFL is critical, and we need to make sure we're doing everything possible to have the best drug program in sports," Goodell said. "Making changes to our program is critical and we have done that over the years. We need to do more, including the inclusion of HGH testing."
Blood testing is the only known way of detecting HGH use, but in the wrong hands, the system could represent an invasion of privacy--drug use is only the tip of the iceberg of information that can be gathered from a blood test, after all--and it’s for this reason that the NFLPA has rejected the idea in the past.
The Players’ Union has said, however, that they would be open to discussing the issue in CBA negotiations--a good thing, considering that it’s looking increasingly likely that the testing system may be necessary to football being played in 2011.
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