Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Good Story, No Shot

Here's a good story from the New York Times about a new blood test that can detect the presence of the banned substance HGH (Human Growth Hormone) for up to 14 days. If the test proves at all reliable, that's a big breakthrough, since the current blood test can only detect HGH over the last 24 to 48 hours.

Problem is, it's a blood test, and there's no way the NFLPA is going to put its stamp on a test that involves pulling blood from a vein with needle and syringe unless it's close to 100 percent accurate. So everybody is going to be watching this test very carefully.

The ideal thing would be for someone to come up with a urine test. That's how they test for steroids and other banned substances now. But the only way to test for HGH at present is through the blood.

Personally, I'd like to see this become part of the NFL's testing program. But it'll be a hard sell with the NFLPA. I remember a few years ago when the late NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw said he'd never give his nod to a blood test. To paraphrase, he said that people saw his players as big, tough men who shouldn't mind getting their fingers pricked for a greater good.

"Well, we don't want to get our fingers pricked," he said.

It's an issue worth watching.


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