Today, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings sent a letter to the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) about the NFLPA's continued reluctance to implement in-season testing for human growth hormone (HGH) in National Football League (NFL) players. Fifteen months ago, the parties assured the Committee that they would work to begin testing for HGH as soon as possible.
"We are disappointed with the NFLPA's remarkable recalcitrance, which has prevented meaningful progress on this issue," said Issa and Cummings in the letter. "We intend to take a more active role to determine whether the position you have taken--that HGH is not a serious concern and that the test for HGH is unreliable--is consistent with the beliefs of rank and file NFL players.
"Despite being the first of the major professional sports leagues to agree to test for HGH, the NFL has now fallen far behind its counterparts in implementing the agreement," the letter continues. "While NFLPA management may not believe that HGH is a problem in the NFL, the words of your athletes suggest otherwise. We hope the facts collected by the Committee will provide you and the NFL with the information necessary to resolve this matter."
On December 12, 2012, the Oversight Committee held a hearing: "HGH Testing in the NFL: Is the Science Ready?" On January 10, 2013, Major League Baseball became the first professional sports league to implement in-season testing for HGH in its players, increasing pressure on the NFL and NFLPA to follow suit. The Oversight Committee initially met with the NFL and the NFPLA on October 14th, 2011.