Though the use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is banned by the National Football League, there is no testing procedure for the illegal substance. That soon could change, however, as the Associated Press reports that a blood-based testing procedure could be available in the next few weeks or months.
"The new test, called a bio-markers test, scans the blood for chemicals the body produces after HGH use, which are detectable for up to two weeks. The test, expected to be available in the coming weeks or months, is a complement to — or maybe an improvement over — the current test, called an isoform test, which scans blood for synthetic HGH."
The National Football League would like to implement blood testing among it's players, which the NFLPA has thus far rejected.
"In a perfect world, a urine test would be far easier for us to deal with and administer than a blood test," Adolpho Birch, NFL vice president of labor policy and player development, said on Saturday. "The problem is, we thought there was some chance a urine test could be developed. That’s increasingly looking less likely. The practical reality is, we need to focus on a test that works, and the test that works is blood."
Birch is right: A urine test would be a much easier test to administer, and if effective, would likely be agreeable to the player's union. (If Matt Hasselbeck had to give blood as much as he's had to give urine, he'd be drained dry)
Everyone wants a clean league, but why would the league push for, and the union agree to, a blood test that only detects synthetic HGH in the blood within 48 hours after use, and could potentially end any research and development of a more effective, less invasive urine-based testing procedure?
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