Friday, September 19, 2014

Football Players Will be Tested for Human Growth Hormone Under New Plan
September 18th, 2014/

Football players will be tested for human growth hormone (HGH) under a new drug-testing plan agreed upon by the National Football League (NFL) and the players union. The plan has been in the works for several years, The New York Times reports.

The plan also includes a higher threshold for a positive marijuana test. Under the new plan, a positive marijuana test will require 35 nanograms of THC per milliliter in a player’s urine, compared with the previous limit of 15. Players who test positive for amphetamines for the first time in the off-season will be referred to the league’s substance abuse program, instead of being suspended. No agreement has been reached on new terms for the substance abuse program, the article notes.

Appeals for positive test violations will be heard by an independent arbitrator, not an appeals officer appointed by the league. Up to five arbitrators will be selected, approved and paid for jointly by the NFL and the union.The plan will require a player to be suspended for two games if they are convicted of, or plead guilty to, violating laws involving drinking and driving.

To address privacy concerns, the plan calls for fines of as much as $500,000 for any NFL, union or team employee who is found to have disclosed information about drug violations. Players, agents and drug policy administrators can also be fined.

HGH testing should begin by the end of the month, and will be fully implemented this season, according to the NFL.

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