NFL steroids program improvements


Published: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 25, 2007 at 1:25 a.m.

Modifications to the NFL-NFLPA policy and program on anabolic steroids and related substances:

· A 40 percent increase in the number of players randomly tested each week during the preseason, regular season and postseason from seven to 10 per team. Last year, the number of random offseason tests was increased from a maximum of two per player to six per player. These changes bring the total number of steroid tests conducted annually by the NFL to 12,000.

· The additional use of carbon isotope ratio testing on a random basis to detect low doses of testosterone. All specimens now will be subject to random selection for CIR testing. Previously, CIR testing was only used to confirm positive tests for testosterone.

· The addition of erythropoietin (EPO) to the banned substance list. Testing for EPO will begin with the 2007 annual test that is administered in the spring or summer.

· A minimum $500,000 NFL grant to the UCLA Olympic testing laboratory and other researchers for the development of new testing methods for Human Growth Hormone. In addition, a working group will be established to study the issues related to deterring the use of HGH.

· Enhancement of the unpredictability of the year-round testing schedule to address the perception of gaps in the testing periods.

· A new feature of the collective bargaining agreement that provides for automatic forfeiture of a prorated portion of a player's signing bonus if he is suspended for violating the steroid or substance abuse policy.

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