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HGH testing looms as big issue between NFL, union

NFL

HGH testing looms as big issue

The future of testing for human growth hormone is shaping up to be a contentious issue in negotiations between the NFL and the union. The collective bargaining agreement expires in March, which could lead to a work stoppage before the 2011 season.

Union president Kevin Mawae said the players are aware of developing tests, one of which is a blood test that could detect HGH for up to 14 days. But he said they believe the test that is now available, which has about a 48-hour window of detection, "is not completely reliable."

During the past several months, the league has become a more vocal supporter of blood-based testing, saying the current blood test — widely available since 2008 but not used by the NFL — is reliable.

Experts at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency call the current test reliable and believe it could blunt the need for more research to develop a urine-based test, which has long been the preference of the football and baseball unions. A urine test is believed to be several years away, and the NFL wants an HGH test in place sooner than that.

Vick: Eagles QB Michael Vick was a no-show at his celebrity golf tournament in Tucker, Ga., and a youth football camp in Raleigh, N.C. His spokeswoman said Vick's travel has been at the discretion of his probation officer since he was released from prison in a dogfighting case in May 2009. The absences came less than a week after prosecutors in Virginia Beach, Va., said Vick wasn't involved in a shooting after his birthday party but was in a confrontation beforehand. It was not clear if that prompted the officer's decision.

Tennis

Comeback gives Fish title at Hall of Fame

Tampa resident Mardy Fish beat Olivier Rochus 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 to win the Hall of Fame tournament in Newport, R.I. Tied at 4 in the third set, Fish squandered three break points before closing out the game with a forehand cross at the net. He then held off two break points to win his fourth title. "I've certainly lost a lot of heartbreak finals," said Fish, 4-11 in finals. "It certainly feels great to win one."

Davis Cup: David Nalbandian beat Mikhail Youzhny 7-6 (5-7), 6-4, 6-3 to give Argentina a 3-2 quarterfinal win and hand Russia its first home loss since 1996. It goes to France, which clinched a win over Spain on Saturday, in September. Novak Djokovic beat Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 to give visiting Serbia an insurmountable 3-1 lead over Croatia. Serbia, in its first semifinal, hosts the Czech Republic, which clinched a win over Chile on Saturday.

Et cetera

College football: Georgia RB Dontavius Jackson and WR Tavarres King were suspended for at least six games and one game, respectively, for Saturday morning's arrests. Jackson, a sophomore backup, was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and other motor vehicle offenses. King, a sophomore starter, was charged with underaged possession of alcohol. Coach Mark Richt said he hasn't determined the final lengths of the suspensions.

Track: Caster Semenya, the women's 800-meter world champion whose gender was questioned, won't compete at this month's African championships. Tuesday, the world's governing body cleared Semenya, 19, to compete for the first time since August 2009. But South Africa's track federation said she will work toward qualifying for October's Commonwealth Games.

Times wires

HGH testing looms as big issue between NFL, union 07/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, July 12, 2010 12:18am]

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