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Congress could 'intervene' on HGH testing in NFL

Published August 23, 2013 8:54 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

New York • Saying the NFL Players Association is "holding HGH testing hostage" after more than two years of squabbling with the league, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee warned Thursday that Congress could get involved.

In a statement emailed by his office to The Associated Press, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said the union "continues to disregard its promise to implement HGH testing."

He added: "Continuing to block HGH testing in this way essentially will force Congress to intervene, which nobody wants."

The oversight committee held a hearing in December to take a look at the science behind blood tests for human growth hormone. HGH is a banned performance-enhancing drug that is hard to detect and has been linked to health problems such as diabetes, cardiac dysfunction and arthritis.

Two full NFL seasons have passed — and another is about to begin — without a final agreement on HGH since the August 2011 labor deal paved the way for testing.

In his statement, Cummings pointed to "extraordinary concessions from the NFL, numerous meetings with Members of Congress, and a parade of experts verifying the validity of HGH testing" and said: "After two years of negotiations, the NFLPA is now holding HGH testing hostage because of matters wholly unrelated to testing."