NFL VP Birch discusses HGH policy

Posted Aug. 09, 2011 @ 6:16 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch held a conference call with the media on Tuesday to discuss the league's new policy on HGH testing.

In the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFLPA and the league agreed to become the first professional league in the United States to test for HGH. Birch, however, would not comment on when they anticipate talks with the union on the final details of the policy will wrap up.

Birch said that the league has developed a way to test on Sundays without being "overly disruptive to the clubs" and said game-day testing is a separate issue to deal with.

Testing could begin by the first game of the 2011 season.

"There's every possibility that (the program) will be implemented by the first game of this season because that's what the parties have committed to," Birch said.

The tests will be random, and every player is subject to and eligible for testing on a year-round basis with no notice, he explained.

"It would involve testing on an annual basis, meaning during the preseason all or some portion of players would be subject to a test as they return to training camp," he said. "It would involve testing a number of players per team per week during the season."

There are limits on how often players can be tested after the season ends.

"The only limitations we currently have on testing during the offseason, you can be tested a maximum of six times. That offseason period would be from February to the start of training camp," said Birch.