INDIANAPOLIS -- The head of the NFL Players Association insists the league won't "bully" its way to a test for human growth hormone.
At his annual Super Bowl news conference, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said talks continue in a bid to resolve the impasse over adding HGH to the NFL's testing program -- six months after the labor deal ending the lockout included a provision to allow checking for that performance-enhancing drug once players approved the process.
Originally, the league hoped it could start testing for HGH as soon as Week 1 of this season. Now there's no certainty it'll happen by the beginning of next season.
"No one will bully us into a test," Smith said Thursday. "No one will force the players to accept something that's unfair. How could we?"
The union has raised questions about the detection methods and appeals process.
Smith, who is up for re-election in March, said the issues of most concern now are current players' health and safety, health care for former players, and painkillers, a topic not frequently discussed in such settings.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press