A former player’s take: HGH testing protects the NFL’s integrity

On Thursday, the NFL ratified a new CBA that will make it the first U.S. sports league to test for human growth hormone. As a former player, I feel that those who don't use performance enhancers should be protected from guys who compete with strength and speed beyond their natural abilities.

I will admit, there’s a fine line between some of the legal substances that guys use and a drug like HGH, but if anything is deemed illegal by the competition committee, then there should be testing for it.

Is it an invasion of the players’ privacy to test blood for HGH? No. If a player is using HGH, he’s cheating.

I always wanted to be the best, so I prepared like the best. Cutting corners and boosting what you are physically capable of doing through drugs creates an unfair field of competition.

If you aren't fast enough, then adjust. If you want to be stronger, then find a way to adjust. If you aren't good enough to make it on natural ability, then accept the reality that your athletic ability could only get you so far. Adjust.

Cheating to live out a dream to me is selfish and thoughtless, especially when you think of all the guys who bust their humps to prepare and try to tweak and adjust their natural bodies for competition. Those players are cheated out of a fair opportunity.

Whether it be competing for the same job or going head to head with a HGH user, that selfish act could in theory cost a person his football career because he wasn’t good enough to beat a cheater out of a job.

Testing for any drug that gives an athlete an unfair advantage is fine and also necessary to protect the players and the integrity of the game.

Leave your comments here and you can also chat with me on Twitter @lavararrington.

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