NEW YORK — The NFL hopes to start testing players for human growth hormone, and Major League Baseball has started talks with its union to investigate the test that led to the suspension of a British rugby player.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday that the league made a proposal to its players in January and discussions are ongoing. "Our position is that HGH testing has advanced to the point where we are taking steps to incorporate it into our program," Aiello said.
The union's player development director, Stacy Robinson, said in a statement that the union "has supported research to find a suitable test that will detect sustained HGH use. … We believe in and collectively bargained for a system that supports the testing of all banned substances.
The NFL has used preseason blood tests since at least 2006 for cholesterol and tryglycerates. Baseball has had urine testing since 2003 but not blood testing.
"We have previously said that if a scientifically validated blood test for HGH is available, we would consider its utilization," baseball union head Michael Weiner said. "But a single uncontested positive does not scientifically validate a test. There remains debate in the testing community about the scientific validity of this test."
The issue of HGH testing gained renewed interest Monday, when the United Kingdom Anti-Doping authority announcing a two-year ban for rugby player Terry Newton, saying he tested positive.
The substance is believed by some to hasten healing, but there is still a debate over whether it increases strength. A blood test for it has been in existence since the 2004 Olympics.
NFL won't punish Cable
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Raiders coach Tom Cable will not be punished by the league after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against women and a fight with an assistant.
Cable was accused of breaking Randy Hanson's jaw and teeth during training camp. Prosecutors didn't file charges because of inconsistencies in Hanson's story. As a result, the league said, it did not punish Cable.
Also, Cable's first wife and an ex-girlfriend said he abused them. Cable acknowledged striking his wife with an open hand more than 20 years ago but that was the only time he touched a woman inappropriately. Because that happened before Cable joined the NFL, the league said, there were no grounds to punish him. No charges were filed.
Franchise tags: The Packers tagged nose tackle Ryan Pickett, the Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour and the Seahawks kicker Olindo Mare. Barring a long-term deal, Pickett, a graduate of Zephyrhills High, will make about $7 million next season — the average of the top five salaries at the position — Seymour about $12.4 million and Mare about $2.63 million. Meanwhile, the Colts said they likely won't tag middle linebacker Gary Brackett. The defensive captain has been a starter for the past five seasons.
Irvin lawsuit: Broward County prosecutors won't file rape charges against ex-Cowboys star Michael Irvin. Earlier this month, an unidentified woman sued Irvin for a sexual assault that allegedly occurred in July 2007.
Hall of Fame game: Dallas and Cincinnati will open the preseason Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.
Obituary: Mosi Tatupu, one of the most popular players in Patriots history, died Tuesday in Attleboro, Mass. He was 54. The hospital did not disclose a cause. Mr. Tatupu, whose son, Lofa, is a Seahawks linebacker, rushed for 2,415 yards and 18 touchdowns over 14 seasons. But he was revered more for his play on kickoff and punt coverage with a group of fans naming itself "Mosi's Mooses."