Wait, What? The NFL Doesn’t Drug Test for Human Growth Hormone?

This year’s Tour de France is over, and I have to admit that it was perhaps the most boring Tour I’ve watched. Chris Froome dominated the whole thing and no one could touch him. So naturally there were plenty of rumors about Froome using illegal drugs. We’ll wait and see what turns up in the coming months.

But along those lines, the following story actually came as no surprise to me: the NFL hasn’t been testing players for HGH, which, in cycling and baseball, is one of the most common performance enhancing drugs. That’s about to change, however.

The NFL and the Players Association are closer to HGH testing than ever before. The sides have agreed in principle on a population study for HGH testing, according to an email the union has sent to its players. The study is a precursor to formal HGH testing.

Procedural issues such as the storage of blood samples and how positive tests would be tied to the larger Performance Enhancing Drug policy still must be resolved, but the sides hope to finalize those details before the end of the week.

Of course testing is fine, but will penalties be enforced or will players get a slap-on-the-wrist that’s small enough to justify further cheating?

The notion that cycling and, to a lesser degree, baseball and Olympic sports are somehow crooked and filled with cheaters is hilarious to me given the 12-foot-tall superhumans in football has always hit me as totally unfair. There are drug users in all professional sports, not just cycling and certainly not just Lance Armstrong.