Doping policy 'gold standard' says union boss, still no HGH test

Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:24pm EST
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By Steve Keating

NEW YORK (Reuters) - National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) chief DeMaurice Smith praised the drug policy negotiated with the league as the gold standard in North American professional sport on Thursday, despite continuing to drag its feet on testing for human growth hormone


When the league and players agreed a new labor deal in July 2011, the NFL's decision to include a blood test for HGH was hailed as major break-through in the fight against performance-enhancing drugs in U.S. professional sports.

The NFL, however, still does not test for HGH with both sides unable to come to an agreement, though Smith said they were close to a deal.

"I honestly believe that what we have negotiated is the gold standard in a drug policy because we have done things in this policy that no policy has ever done," said Smith.

"It has championed transparency, it's championed following the science, it's championed coming up with a specific standard as it relates to football players and it also envisions a world where we can constantly update or modify that and that is something, quite frankly that you don't see in any other policy.

"You certainly don't see it with WADA's policy because I'm not sure they can use the word transparent."

The NFLPA has long maintained it will not be bullied into HGH testing and wanted assurances of the validity and fairness of any test.   Continued...

Executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith (C) speaks outside the NFL Players Association Headquarters in Washington July 25, 2011. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque