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NFL: Players stalling HGH talks

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- In response to players' union president Domonique Foxworth's claim Tuesday that trust issues are standing in the way of an agreement on HGH testing, the NFL issued a thinly veiled "same to you" Thursday.

Seated while speaking to dozens of media members at Lucas Oil Stadium, NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch said the stalemate has more to do with the union riding the brakes and preventing talks for advancing.

"Where we are is largely where we've been since August of 2011," Birch said. "We've tried to work with the union as much as possible to address its concerns. That has consisted in everything from arranging meetings with the World Anti-Doping Agency in Montreal ... it went from that to the notion of the population study. We hadn't heard anything relative to that until after we had the meeting in Montreal.

"The consensus among the scientific community is such that the test as it stands is reliable, accurate and there is absolutely zero need for a population study of NFL players."

The current collective bargaining agreement calls for HGH testing, but two full seasons have passed without that issue being agreed upon. Players have gone public with their primary issue -- how any appeals process would be structured by the NFL.

"It is a disservice to all for us not to focus on the issue at hand, particularly in the context of HGH testing," Birch said. "It has been a stall. I don't know if it is a tactic. There is absolutely no reason for this to have taken this long and for us to not have testing implemented. We should have been more than a year into this by now."

The NFL is concerned that players could be using the excuse that an ADHD medication, Adderall, was the sole cause of a failed test rather than a performance-enhancing drug.

"So there is no misinformation and ability to go behind and minimize what the nature of an individual's violation is," Birch said. "The union has consistently rejected that."

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