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League, union may begin testing for HGH this fall

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POSTED July 23, 2013 2:01 a.m.

The NFL and players union are talking again about getting a test in place 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 NFL players to determine a good 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 during their physical when training camp begins. The email said the blood samples will only be used for the study.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the discussions are focused “on a full resolution of any remaining issues, including the role of a population study.”

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.

The union also has reservations about the way discipline will be handed out, and wants to collectively bargain that issue.

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.



RGIII cleared

WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Griffin III has passed a major test toward his goal of playing in Week 1, getting the go-ahead from the team doctors days before the Washington Redskins open training camp.

“Doctors cleared me to practice. Coach is going to ease me in,” Griffin announced Monday on Twitter.

Even though Griffin says he has the medical OK, it is now up to coach Mike Shanahan to determine how often and how vigorously Griffin practices when the Redskins open camp Thursday in Richmond, Va.



Ink & injuries

The New York Jets signed quarterback Geno Smith, their second-round draft pick, to a four-year contract that is worth about $5 million. … The Dallas Cowboys are hoping the first two days of training camp aren’t a trend. Defensive end Anthony Spencer can’t shake a troublesome knee problem, and backup Tyrone Crawford is out for the season after tearing his left Achilles tendon. Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff strained a hamstring during the conditioning test, and Tony Romo’s starting guards – Mackenzy Bernadeau and Nate Livings – are sidelined for now.

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