NFLPA signs off on protocol for HGH population study

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The NFLPA agreed to an HGH population study, which allows drawing blood from players. (Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The NFL and NFLPA are close to changing the NFL's calendar year. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The National Football League Players Association has allowed for a protocol for a human growth hormone population study that allows blood to be drawn from players, reports

The report states that the study will be done before the start of the regular season next month and that it still needs league approval.

The two sides have been talking for months and were close to an agreement before the start of training camp. Among the issues needed to be worked out was establishing what the normal average level of HGH in a player's body is.

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As far as the NFLPA is concerned, the agreement on the protocol is in place. The union wanted the blood that will be drawn to be designated as testable only for the population study and not to be retested down the line once an agreement on testing and punishment for positive tests is in place. The agreement the NFLPA has signed and sent to the league states the blood they will allow to be withdrawn in the coming weeks will only be tested for the population study, the source said.