Congress calls on Goodell, Smith

Updated: July 27, 2012, 6:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Four member of Congress sent a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith calling on them to provide "written assurances" that testing for human growth hormone will be in place for the start of the 2012 season.

The letter was authored by Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce committee; Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade; and their Democratic ranking members, Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C.

In the letter, the congressmen noted that the NFL and the NFLPA ratified their collective bargaining agreement almost a year ago and it included testing for HGH. It went on to say that as players report to camp, "it seems that we are no closer to testing for HGH" and added that "this failure sends a terrible message to young athletes and fans that player safety and a level playing field are not priorities."

"It is time for the NFL to follow the Olympic model and start testing for HGH," the letter said. "Until you do, questions will remain about the commitment of the athletes and owners of the NFL to health, safety, and fair play."

It calls on Goodell and Smith to provide assurances that testing will be in place by the time the season starts in September, and asks for a timely reply.

There was no immediate response from Goodell or Smith.