By Alexander Abnos
January 11, 2013

In the wake of Major League Baseball agreeing on a method to randomly test players for Human Growth Hormone (hGH), NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith told his members that the NFL could have beaten baseball to being the first major professional league to develop a testing procedure.

In a letter to players, Smith seems to blame the NFL itself for holding up the process, saying the league is against allowing the players to challenge parts of the hGH test itself. The letter in full, via CBS Sports, is below:

"Men: As you may have heard, MLB and MLBPA reached a collectively bargained agreement with respect to in-season testing for hGH. Critical components of their agreement include: 1) MLB's Commissioner's Office must establish the accuracy and reliability of each allegedly positive test; 2) Players may present any evidence to challenge the accuracy, reliability, and thus the underlying scientific support for the test; and 3) all appeals are decided by neutral arbitrators.

If the NFL had adopted the same positions that Major League Baseball has, the NFL could have been the first to implement hGH testing.

However, as you know, the NFL has adamantly resisted allowing Players to challenge the science underlying the hGH test in their proposal. The Board of Player Representatives has insisted on a transparent system and a fair process that allows Players to fully challenge any finding. As you know, this remains your decision. If you have any questions or any desire to change your vote please let us know immediately. Thank you for you leadership."

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