NFL Noticeably Absent in Drug Dialogue

NFL Noticeably Absent in Drug Dialogue

Cycling champion Lance Armstrong has gone from hero to villain for using performance-enhancing drugs, and baseball's Hall of Fame this month elected no one on the writers' ballot because all the eligible superstars were tainted by records or suspicion of "juicing." But while cycling, baseball, track and field and other sports have seen major scandals over steroids, there doesn't seem to be comparable outrage or concern over drugs in football.

 

Drugs can make you bigger, faster and stronger—so it is hard to imagine that they aren't widely used in football, the most physical sport of all. Are athletes in other sports looking for a chemical edge while football players alone go the all-natural route? Just how big can people get through weight training and workouts alone? And why do so many former players look like miniature versions of themselves after they retire?

 

In their most recent collective-bargaining agreement, signed in 2011, the National Football League and the players union agreed to start testing players for human growth hormone. Yet two seasons later, there still isn't any testing. Major League Baseball in recent years worked out a testing regimen that includes human growth hormone, but the NFL apparently cannot. At the college football level, meanwhile, testing looks almost exclusively for recreational drugs, with practically no attention on performance-enhancing ones.

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