When talking about sports, athletes using banned substances and their drug-testing programs, it always seems as if baseball has the strongest policy regarding illegal and banned substances. However, Roger Goodell believes that the NFL has a strong program, but at the same time he acknowledged that there is room for improvement, and insisted that the next labor agreement should include testing for human growth hormone.
For owners, coaches, and teammates to think that there aren't players out there using HGH on a regular basis would be absolutely ridiculous. No matter what sport, there are always going to be athletes who use HGH.
Goodell recognizes this and beleives that it would be absurd for others to not realize it too.
"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.
Goodell said that the integrity of the game and league is on the line and that the overall goal is to have the best drug program in all of sports. One of the key targets in the anti-doping movement is to prevent athletes from using HGH. A problem for the league and the use of HGH is that the substance is difficult to detect in tests. It is believed that athletes use the substance for numerous reasons including: improvement in speed, vision, and recovery. The old collective bargaining agreement did not include testing for HGH, which is a substance that the league prohibits players from using.
The previous CBA negotiations ended March 11, thus allowing the old agreement to officially expire.
In the past NFL Players Association has opposed the idea blood testing, which is what is needed to test for HGH, but last summer they finally decided to loosen the belt a bit and stated that they were open to discussing the matter during collective bargaining agreement talks.
Knowing that a player from your favorite team is using illegal substances takes away from the game and plays that occur every Sunday. And as Goodell stated, it takes away from the integrity of the game, but if the players and owners can come up with a new agreement and include HGH testing then it will be a step in the right direction to clean up the game.