NFL, players' union go back and forth on HGH testing

The latest development in the ongoing fight over human growth hormone testing for NFL players centered around an independent panel finding fault with the World Anti-Doping Agency's HGH testing procedure.

The NFL Players Association released a statement Tuesday that read: "Today, an independent arbitration panel's decision found that the WADA isoform hGH test is unreliable. The suspension of an Olympic champion was overturned after findings that the hGH test administered by WADA is not scientifically verifiable. For almost two years, the NFL players have fought the NFL and certain members of Congress who have publicly referred to the players' insistence on scientific validity and fairness as 'stalling' and 'posturing.'

"Today's decision validates the players' demand for scientific validity, full due process rights, and a transparent system," the statement said.

In an NFL statement obtained by NFL.com's Albert Breer, the league issued a response to the union:

"Surprisingly, the union uses this particular decision to justify and extend into overtime its game of duck and delay. In fact, the Court of Arbitration for Sport rebuked the union in its findings: "The Panel agrees with the Respondent (International Ski Federation) that reference to the NFLPA's ongoing dispute regarding the implementation of the Test is irrelevant to the question of the Test's validity and reliability. The Panel further notes that the NFLPA dispute formed part of a wider National Football League/NFLPA discussion concerning their most recent collective bargaining agreement. The factual background and points of contention in that case are not relevant to this case." [page 48, paragraph 174]

"Contrary to the union's statement, the panel specifically found the test to be reliable: " ... FIS had shown to their comfortable satisfaction that the HGH test is a reliable testing method for HGH abuse in professional sports that is based on scientifically correct assumptions and methods," the ruling stated.

"Grandstanding aside, there is nothing standing in the way of implementing HGH testing except for the sit-on-the-ball tactics of the union."

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