NFL Notebook: Goodell wants HGH tests
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One of the hundreds of high school students attending an assembly Monday about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances wanted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to answer this question:
Why is there more drug use in baseball than football?
Goodell began his response this way: "I'm not sure that's true."
While making sure to emphasize that he believes the NFL's drug-testing program is a strong one, Goodell acknowledged that it can be improved, and he said the league will insist that its next labor deal with players -- whenever there is one -- includes testing for human growth hormone.
"We'd be naive to think that people aren't trying to cheat the system. But we have to have the best testing program to be able to offset that," Goodell told reporters after joining Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, to speak to area students at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County.
"Making changes to our program is critical and we have done that over the years," Goodell said. "We need to do more, including the inclusion of HGH testing."
Preventing athletes from using HGH is considered a key target in the anti-doping movement. The substance is hard to detect, and athletes are believed to choose HGH for a variety of benefits, whether they be real or only perceived -- including increasing speed and improving vision.
HGH use is prohibited by the NFL, but the league's old collective bargaining agreement did not have testing for it. Goodell said he thinks players "recognize the importance of" adding HGH tests.
NFL Players Association spokesman George Atallah declined to comment Monday. The NFLPA has opposed blood tests in the past but did say last summer it would be open to hearing a proposal from the league during CBA talks.
A federal judge in Minnesota has decided to combine two requests to halt the NFL lockout. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she will hear arguments from attorneys for Tom Brady, Drew Brees and other current players, as well as attorneys for retired players. The current players and retirees have filed similar antitrust lawsuits against the league in addition to their requests for an injunction to stop the lockout. ... Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy and Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, two former players who now are on the owners' labor committee, wrote in a letter to NFL retirees that "the players union wasn't listening" to the NFL's "significant offers that would have a measurable impact on the people who made football great."
Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel has been arrested and charged with theft from a casino. The Switzerland County, Ind., sheriff's department said Vrabel, 35, was arrested at 5:30 a.m. and released about five hours later on $600 cash bond. He was charged with a class D felony.
First Published April 5, 2011 12:48 am