Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) criticized the NFL Players Association union for being a roadblock to human growth hormone testing and suggested Congress may ask players to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Issa, who chairs the Committee, and Cummings, the ranking member on it, wrote a letter on Monday to NFL players union head DeMaurice Smith, saying the NFL has fallen behind other professional sports leagues in HGH testing even though it was the first major professional sports league to agree to test for the hormone.
“The Players Association’s resistance to implementing an HGH test has led us to question whether the NFLPA leaders actually believe that HGH is a problem in the sport,” the letter said. “For that reason, we intend to pursue a fact-finding agenda to determine whether NFL players consider HGH a problem in the league.”
They also said they were disappointed with the NFLPA’s “remarkable recalcitrance” in turning over documents that were requested concerning HGH testing.
“We intend to take a more active role to determine whether the position you have taken – that HGH is not a serious concern and that the test for HGH is unreliable – is consistent with the beliefs of rank and file NFL players,” the letter said.
In August of 2011, the NFL agreed to a ten-year collective bargaining agreement, but the “union wants a new population study to assess the validity of the test for NFL players.”
Congress, though, has also been criticized for getting involved in professional sports issues many believe should be resolved without big government interference.