London Fletcher says the league and union being close to a deal on HGH testing ‘sends the right message’ (Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press)

RICHMOND — Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher expressed his approval of the near-deal between the league and the NFL Players Association to have players blood-tested for human growth hormone.

“I think it’s a start,” Fletcher said Thursday at the Redskins’ training camp. “Obviously I think the players, we want a clean game and the NFL wants a clean game. It was just a matter of trying to go about it, trying to get what we feel like is a fair process for us as players, what the baseline [should be] for football players. I’m sure there are still some things that have to be worked out.”

According to several people familiar with the deliberations, the league and union are close to completing a deal to put blood-testing for HGH into effect. The two sides agreed as part of their 2011 labor deal to have players blood-tested for HGH, which is on the league’s list of banned performance-enhancing substances. But they first had to work out the details of the testing program, and they debated that while testing remained on hold the previous two seasons.

“I’m not totally sure as far as whether we’ll get it better [than other sports]. It’s a step in the right direction for us,” Fletcher said. “I think it also sends the right message for youngsters playing the game, coming up, to say, ‘Hey, you know what, you don’t need to cheat your way to play on this level.’ It’s the right message. Hopefully if guys are taking it, it’ll clean the game up.”

Related: Past Insider posts on HGH testing

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What’s ahead:

● Friday’s practice — the final one of training camp — is at 10:35 a.m.

● GM Bruce Allen addresses reporters.

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