The NFL and the Players Association are closer to HGH testing than ever before. The sides have agreed in principle on a population study for HGH testing, according to an email the union has sent to its players. The study is a precursor to formal HGH testing.
Procedural issues such as the storage of blood samples and how positive tests would be tied to the larger Performance Enhancing Drug policy still must be resolved, but the sides hope to finalize those details before the end of the week.
If that happens, every NFL player will have blood drawn in current training camps for the population study, which will be used to determine the decision limit for a positive test.
It's believed that once an agreement is reached, it will be the most scientifically valid HGH test in pro sports. Major League Baseball is the only professional league that has HGH testing, but it did not do a population study.
One of the things being discussed is whether the blood samples used in the population study will be subject to discipline once an official HGH policy is finalized. The union is arguing that the test can't be retroactive.