INDIANAPOLIS – As the NFL and its players association remain at an impasse about the state of testing for human growth hormone, the league’s mounting frustration is becoming evident.
During Thursday’s media session of the 2013 NFL scouting combine, NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch outlined the league’s grievances in trying to work out measures for testing with the players union.
The primary disagreement circles around the NFL-only population study to the specifics of the appeals process and circumstances surrounding the rebuttals, but Birch also suggested the union is trying to bring in issues that were supposed to be addressed in the most recent collective-bargaining agreement.
From the NFL’s prospective, they’re trying to lock down a more comprehensive testing program than the current policy they adopted in 2010 in which players are susceptible to being tested each week of the season, six times during the offseason with one annual mandatory test.
A part of that deals with the current issue of Adderall use. Many players, including Packers defensive end Mike Neal, have linked their positive test for performance-enhancing drugs to the use of the drug often used to treat attention-deficit disorder.
Under current perimeters, the NFL is not allowed to comment on what players tested positive for, something Birch hopes to change with its proposed testing measures.
“One of the features of the MLB appeals system that we have proposed from the beginning has been to be able to disclose the substance that formed the basis of the violation,” Birch said. “It’s largely for that point to make sure everyone is clear on what that substance was, so there is no misinformation and ability go behind and minimize the nature of an individual violation.”
Earlier this week, union president Domonique Foxworth said NFL players no longer trust NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after how the bountygate scandal was handled.
Whatever the case, it doesn’t appear either side is close to finding a resolution.
“It is a disservice to all for us not to focus on the issue at hand, particularly in the context of HGH testing,” Birch said. “There’s absolutely no reason for this to have taken this long and for us not to have testing implemented. We should be more than a year into this by now.”