Now that the NFL and the NFL Players Association have implemented human growth hormone testing as part of a revised performance-enhancing drug policy, Ravens veteran defensive end Chris Canty is hoping that ensures a level playing field.
As the Ravens' player union representative, Canty voted in favor of the policy. The changes include a suspension of four games without pay for a first violation, a 10-game suspension without pay for a second violation and a minimum two-year ban for a third violation.
"I think it will be something that will be fair for all the players in the league," Canty said. "We're excited to be able to incoporate HGH testing and really set the standard for all levels of football. We just want to fall in line with a lot of testing policies from major sports leagues and make sure we're providing the best opportunities for fair competition in sports."
The performance-enhancing drug policy changes triggered the immediate reinstatement of Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey and Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick.
U.S. Reps. Elijah E. Cummings and Darrell E. Issa, the ranking member and the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement saluting the NFL and the players' union for finalizing the drug policy deal.
Issa and Cummings have been meeting with NFL and players association officials over the past several years to help forge an agreement to begin HGH testing. In December 2012, the Oversight Committee held a hearing to explore the damaging health effects of HGH and other PEDs
"We are very pleased that the NFL and the Players Association have reached a final agreement on a performance-enhancing drug policy, which includes the implementation of HGH testing in the coming weeks," Cummings and Issa said in a joint statement. "This new HGH policy sends a clear message to NFL players, as well as student-athletes at the collegiate, high school, and youth levels that HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs are highly dangerous and will not be tolerated in athletic competition.
"While the league and the players remain in negotiations on a new substance abuse policy for non-performance enhancing drugs, we look forward to continuing to work with the parties to reach a comprehensive agreement."