The NFL is determined to require players to submit to human-growth-hormone testing during the 2013 season and onward, and talks between the league and the NFL Players Association are reportedly heating up.
According to NFL.com's Albert Breer, the NFL delivered a new proposal to the Players Union on April 24. In that report, the league apparently relaxed its standards on game-day testing to try to appease the needs of the players. Avoiding game-day testing had been a big hang-up during previous negotiations.
Here's an excerpt from Breer's piece:
One union source said the issue now is that the league's proposal calls for testing to begin immediately. The samples would then be tested, and results would be stored, until the World Anti-Doping Agency comes up with the baseline standard for acceptable levels. The union, per the source, would rather wait to start drawing blood and testing until the baseline is determined and full testing is ready to be implemented.
The news that a new proposal has been submitted also comes on the heels of an early May report from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, who sourced an anonymous NFC starter's claims that an estimated 10 to 15 players on each NFL team use the now-banned substance.
Per a league source in Breer's report, the NFLPA received the offer through a conference call this week and is preparing a counterproposal to send to the NFL in the next week or so.
Another NFL source claimed the league hasn't heard anything in the now-month window that has passed since the revised proposal was first given to NFLPA for review.
In summation—progress is apparently being made, but the two sides still do not see eye to eye.
The latest on HGH testing is a step in the right direction for the league, especially if you listen to the opinions of those like CBS Sports' Mike Freeman:
mike freeman @mikefreemanNFL
HGH testing isn't close in NFL and it's a hole in otherwise efficient PED testing system: http://t.co/kuVh9DQ6M22013-5-21 16:53:34
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell expressed confidence back in February that the league and the players would come to an agreement to get testing in place prior to the start of the upcoming 2013 season (h/t NFL.com).
The issue has also made its way to Washington, D.C. this offseason, where Congressman Elijah Cummings told USA Today that it is now "put up or shut up" time with respect to the NFL having no consistent HGH testing plan in place.