By Jennifer Riso
The Court of Arbitration of Sport recently ruled on the validity of human growth hormone (HGH) testing procedure. In deciding the appeal of Olympic cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu, the court held that “procedural issues in the testing process invalidated any suspension levied” by the International Ski Federation. The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) relied on this decision to ensure that the players have “full due process rights” and a “transparent system,” and thus argued that HGH testing should not be implemented without scientific validity. However, the National Football League criticizes the union for its reliance on this decision and hopes to have a testing plan implemented before the 2013 football season begins.
The recent discoveries of athletes involved in doping scandals have raised a cause for concern. In order to keep the integrity of the sport of football, it is important to implement HGH testing. However, the NFLPA has a plausible claim that it will not implement a test that is not scientifically valid. Parties in a negotiation must consider both the implementation and the effect of the implementation during collective bargaining negotiations. Thus, the NFL’s argument, that implementation is irrelevant to the test’s validity and reliability, is not plausible.