SAN DIEGO -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday night he's optimistic that testing for HGH can begin this season, but he's "disappointed" with the slow movement by the players' union.
"We're completely focused on that. We think it's the right thing to do," Goodell said. "We agreed to it. We think it's the right thing to do for player safety, we think it's important for the credibility of the game, we think it's important as a message to kids who not only play our game but play any game. You shouldn't be taking performance-enhancing drugs, and HGH is certainly something we need to be testing for."
The NFL and NFL Players Association tentatively agreed in the contract that ended the lockout in July to implement testing for human growth hormone. But the union had to approve testing procedures and hasn't done so, saying it wants more information.
Goodell said he doesn't believe the NFL will need Congress to intervene.
"Again, we agreed to it, so I'm hopeful we can all live up to our agreements and get it done," he said.
"I respect the fact we want to have a valid test. We didn't initially wrap our arms around this test when it was created in 2004, but there's seven years of history, a lot of science, a lot of medicine is behind it. And we're comfortable that this is a valid test. We respect the fact that the players' association wants to have confidence in that, too. They have access to all the information we have and should be in a position to be able to be confident in that."
The commissioner made his comments before attending a benefit dinner for the Huntington's Disease Society of America San Diego chapter.
Goodell said he'll meet with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders on Thursday for an update on the Chargers' attempt to have a new stadium built. But Goodell didn't sound optimistic about either of two stadium proposals in L.A.
Asked if the NFL returning to Los Angeles was a matter of when rather than if, Goodell said: "Not necessarily. Again, until there's an appropriate solution in Los Angeles, there won't be a team there."
Goodell said he didn't favor either of the sites.
Asked to define an appropriate solution, he said: "The right kind of stadium and we have to make it work for the NFL and obviously for the community and for the team. One, you have to get it built, two, you have to have it financed, and three, it has to be able to generate the kind of revenue that's necessary to keep a team successful. Last but not least, make sure it works for the community."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press