Source: Congress, NFL to talk HGH

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will convene a hearing next week to examine the science behind HGH testing and the health concerns surrounding its use, according to a government source.

The hearing will feature experts and individuals concerned about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances. The NFL Players Association has cited the inadequacy of HGH testing as a reason for holding up implementation of a testing regime in the NFL. The hearing will seek opinions on the subject.

The NFLPA believes the science behind current HGH testing is not up to snuff.

The hearing will be led by Rep. Darrell Issa of California and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, both of whom have worked with the NFL and NFLPA on the issue of HGH testing. The two have expressed concern that an HGH-testing regime, which is part of the collective bargaining agreement agreed to in 2011, has not yet been implemented.

Among the witnesses expected to be called, according to the source, are Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, who heads Play Clean, an organization that educates high school athletes on the dangers of performance-enhancing substances; Travis Tygart, executive director of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA); and Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

The hearing is being held because the committee is upset with the union's refusal to allow the testing, the source said. This hearing is the committee's next step in forcing HGH testing. The hearing will establish that scientists say the test is valid and there is no reason for it not to be used in the NFL.