With performance-enhancing drugs a buzz topic in the sports world once again, former Dallas Cowboys safety Darren Woodson said on ESPN Radio's "The Herd" on Thursday that he believes PED use is part of the NFL culture.
Woodson reasoned that the difficulty of naturally recovering from the rigors of an NFL game might lead players to PEDs. When testing is ramped up, Woodson said, many more players will fail.
"I think a lot of it has to do with the testing," Woodson said via the Dallas Morning News. "I know it's in the collective bargaining agreement and they're going to start testing for doping and a lot more, (but) they have to be more serious. Once they start testing, there's going to be a reaction. ...You cannot tell me that it's not a part of the NFL. It's in the NFL and we're going to find that out. When they start testing we're really going to figure it out"
This is the kind of sentiment behind Commissioner Roger Goodell's insistence on implementing HGH testing as soon as possible. Last week, Goodell pointed to the Olympics and Major League Baseball as the benchmarks for where he'd like to see the NFL's testing standards.
Until then, the league risks the perception it is looking the other way as its players take some substances that could do long-term damage.
Much like the bounty scandal in 2012, some fans might not care about PED use unless it affects their team. But if, as Woodson implies, PED use is rampant in the NFL, the league will have a lot of cleaning up to do once more stringent testing is in place.
Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.