The NFL and NFL Players Association are closer than ever to an agreement on an HGH testing policy. The league has wanted to implement a testing program since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement was reached, and even players are in favor of a program, most notably Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL's reigning Offensive Player of the Year.
The NFL and NFLPA reached agreement on a population study, that would have all players participating in 2013 training camps providing a blood sample that will be used to determine a "correct decision limit" for NFL players (who may naturally produce more human growth hormone than other human beings) to trigger a positive test.
However, according to ESPN.com, the role that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will play in the appeals process is holding up an agreement.
Goodell currently hears all appeals on violations of the performance-enhancing drug policy that relate to violations of the law and known use of performance-enhancing drugs without a positive test. Appeals of positive test results are heard by a third party arbitrator. The NFLPA wants all appeals relating to the PEDs program to be heard by a third party arbitrator.
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1, the players are looking to strip some power away from Goodell, citing the commissioner's handling of the BountyGate suspensions as the reason for their unanimous vote that a third party should hear all appeals.
The NFL and NFLPA have each made concessions over the last few months to reach this point in the negotiations. Considering that a neutral arbitrator will hear appeals for positive HGH tests, the NFLPA delaying the implementation of a testing program that the rank and file membership is in favor of over the appeals of rare cases involving legal matters and "use without a positive test result" just to strip the commissioner of some power seems rather silly.