New HGH tests applauded by anti-doping chiefs

Fri Aug 5, 2011 2:55pm EDT
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Former-WADA boss Dick Pound, who had a long running battle with the commissioners of the big four North American leagues, also viewed NFL testing for HGH as a positive development.

But he said he wanted to wait and see how it was applied, and whether it included random, unannounced out-of-competition testing, before giving it his full stamp of approval.

"It's progress," Pound told Reuters. "I haven't seen anything that tells you how it will get organized or applied but it is a step forward.

"But it's one of these things where you can have the program and say, 'OK now we're testing for HGH we're the leaders in professional sport'".

The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) also praised the NFL for testing for HGH but was disappointed anti-doping concerns were among the last issues considered in the collective bargaining process.

The bulk of the deal to end the NFL's bitter labor dispute was agreed to last month, but certain elements, including drug-testing, were ironed out just before the agreement was ratified.

"It's an issue that is tacked on at the end after all the money issues are resolved...but it is a step in the right direction," USADA chief executive Travis Tygart told Reuters.

"In certain sports, the standards fall well short of what is in the WADA Code but I think, to the NFL and Major League Baseball's credit, they have paid attention to these issues and attempted to get close to the core parts of the WADA Code.

"They are still not WADA Code but they are getting closer."

(Editing by Julian Linden)