Details have been released of the NFL's new HGH testing program, which reportedly begins Monday.
According to the document, five players from eight teams will be tested for HGH each week by having blood drawn. There will be no gameday testing and day-before-game testing is also unlikely, though not outlawed by the policy. In the offseason, a player can be tested a maximum of six times, with both blood and urine tests used.
Penalties for a positive test include a four-game suspension for a first offense, a 10-game suspension for a second offense and a minimum one-year banishment for a third offense.
All appeals of positive tests will be heard by a neutral arbitrator instead of a league employee appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Penalties for breaching the confidentiality of testing include a $500,000 fine and possible termination of employment. If a player or team provides untrue information about a player's discipline ,the NFL is allowed to correct the information publicly.
The NFL is testing for HGH for the first time with its new policy. The NFL and NFLPA created a new drug agreement last month, with the main new features including HGH testing, a higher threshold for marijuana testing and moving certain drugs from the performance-enhancers category to the drugs of abuse category.
- Ben Estes