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OXNARD, Calif. -- With the NFL and the NFL Players Association closing in on an agreement regarding testing for human growth hormone, two prominent members of the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten and Sean Lee, believe it will be good for the game.
"We've seen other pro sports and how important that's been and the negative vibe it's gotten," said Witten, who is the Cowboys' NFLPA representative. "Everybody wants a level playing field. I think the union wants it under the right circumstance. There's a lot of parameters when you start testing for blood but I think everyone is welcoming that when it's done the right way. It's probably taken longer than we all expected it to, but it sounds like we're close."
According to a memo obtained by ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, the NFLPA's board of directors sent a memo to players saying they will have a blood sample taken during training camp physicals as part of a population study for HGH in order to determine the threshold for a positive test.
The league and players' union agreed to test players for HGH once the union approved the process as part of the new collective bargaining agreement reached in 2011 after the lockout. A source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that no players will be penalized for HGH use in 2013.
The league and NFLPA will stage what has been deemed an "important negotiating session" Wednesday in Washington, D.C., as they try to work toward an agreement for HGH testing, NFL.com reported.
The Cowboys started training camp July 20, and blood samples have not been taken yet.
"As long as the test is 100 percent foolproof where there's not going to be any false positives, that would be the only issue we would have," Lee said. "If an innocent guy is found guilty, his life is completely ruined. As long as the test is scientifically 100 percent where you can't get anybody proven to be false, I'm fine with it."