NFL, NFLPA reportedly close to agreement on HGH testing

September 05, 2014 - 6:14 am

The NFL and the NFL Players Association are close to an agreement that would allow for HGH testing for the first time in the history of the league after three years of back-and-forth negotiations, according to an ESPN report. It appeared that the league would have testing in place in 2011 when a new collective bargaining agreement was put in place, but disagreements have kept HGH testing on the back burner. Thanks to a push by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, the issue is back at the forefront and close to becoming a completed deal. "Players who have been to any collective bargaining negotiation understand that we never describe them as 'very close,' " NFLPA president Eric Winston said in a statement. '€œWe look at every issue we can to improve the rights and benefits of players. This process takes time, it takes creativity and it is never easy. We want to get a new agreement in place, but we understand the responsibility we have to the players and to the game. It is critical that we get this right."€ While both sides apparently would like to come to an agreement before Sunday'€™s Week 1 games, there remain points of contention with other changes. One idea the league proposed that has been debated and hotly contested is a player getting disciplined immediately for a DUI arrest. There is concern that the negotiations could come to a halt if the proposed changes other than HGH testing lead to more bickering. If the negotiations were to be finalized, the league would be allowed to test players for HGH the day before a game and the day after one. It would not allow the NFL to test players during the day of a game. Testing could begin as little as 10 days after an agreement is put into place.