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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NFL HGH Testing And The State

This story was pretty offensive.

Two key congressman emerged from an hour-long meeting with the NFL and players union and announced a deal to begin blood-testing players for human growth hormone. Minutes later, union officials would commit only to testing when a fair and safe system is in place—what they’ve been saying all along.
Do you see the mistake?

The correct response to this story is "WTF? Why is it any of Congress' business, whether the NFL tests for HGH or not? The NFL is a private organization, and can make whatever rules it wants."

One problem is State labor law. Due to the way labor law works, the NFL owners can't unilaterally implement HGH testing. The union must approve. This leads to arguments over what test is appropriate. The union can veto the owner's choice, if they think the test is flawed.

A flawed test is obviously bad. You don't want players suspended for false positives. You don't want the test to be too weak. Unfortunately, if the NFL chooses a test that's too strict, the State legal system can't easily handle the dispute via a lawsuit.

No matter what doping test you use, people will find loopholes and ways to trick the test.

That story was offensive. It's none of Congress' business, whether then NFL tests for HGH or not.

Why do people assume, by default, that every sports conflict is Congress' business? It's cheap publicity for the Congressmen, because they know lots of people like sports and are interested in the results. The Congressmen pretend to be the hero, resolving the dispute. Congress created the problem in the first place, by various laws.

The NFL should test for HGH. My complaint is that Congress shouldn't get involved. Due to defects in State labor law and the State legal system, it's hard for the NFL and players' union to agree on a test. The State legal system makes it hard for players to dispute the results, if the NFL does adopt a flawed test.

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