Human growth hormone testing is coming for all NFL players if the league has its way in labor negotiations.
NFL vice president and general counsel Adolpho Birch told FOXSports.com on Thursday that the league is insistent upon HGH testing when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached with the NFL Players Association.
"We want it. We think it's necessary. We're going to ensure that it's done," said Birch, who oversees the NFL's drug-testing program. "That's something very important to us and the integrity of our game. We believe some of the basis for going slowly on it before has been addressed. At this point, it's proper for it to be an active part of our program."
Birch said the NFL had discussed the matter with NFLPA representatives before labor talks ended March 11 and a work stoppage began. An NFLPA source told FOXSports.com that an agreement for HGH testing "would have to be part of settlement discussions with the class," referring to the attorneys representing 10 NFL players in an antitrust lawsuit against the league. The NFLPA decertified as a union before the previous CBA expired in anticipation of an NFL lockout.
Testing for HGH — a performance-enhancing substance barred but not tested for in the NFL's previous drug-testing program — could become a contentious subject among NFLPA members. It also could become a bargaining chip for the NFL in CBA negotiations.