NFL set for HGH tests? Not just yet, union says

DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players Association, left, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell shake hands as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees looks on at center during a news conference at the NFL Players Association, Monday, July 25, 2011, in Washington, after the NFL Players Association executive board and 32 team reps voted unanimously Monday to approve the terms of a deal with owners to the end the 4 1/2-month lockout.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

WASHINGTON - Two congressmen and the NFL say after a meeting with the players union that testing for human growth hormone will begin shortly, but the union is less committal.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told reporters Friday that the sides agreed to begin testing "immediately." He added that what to do with the test results will be dealt with in the coming weeks.

But NFLPA spokesman George Atallah, speaking a few minutes later, said testing will begin after a fair and safe system is in place. He said players will do that "as fast as possible."

The latest collective bargaining agreement between the league and its players includes a provision to begin testing players for HGH — contingent on the union agreeing to the testing methods. The NFLPA has asked for more scientific data to prove the most popular test is reliable.