The NFL and players union are talking again about starting to test for human growth hormone as early as the upcoming season.
An email obtained by The Associated Press from the NFL Players Association indicates that the league and the NFLPA have jointly hired a doctor to conduct a study on the NFL's players to determine the threshold for a positive HGH test. The email was sent by the union to players, in part to explain that the study requires them to have blood drawn. The email said the blood samples will only be used for the study.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says the discussions are focused "on a full resolution of any remaining issues."
The labor agreement that ended the NFL lockout in 2011 requires the league gain union approval before testing players for HGH. The union says it favors testing, but has reservations about the appeals process.
Supplemental HGH is a banned substance that is hard to detect and used by athletes for what are believed to be a variety of benefits, whether real or only perceived — such as increasing speed and improving vision.
Among the health problems connected to HGH are diabetes, cardiac dysfunction and arthritis.