The World Anti-Doping Agency defended its test for human growth hormone on Wednesday and accused the NFL players union of being "extremist"...
LONDON — The World Anti-Doping Agency defended its test for human growth hormone on Wednesday and accused the NFL players union of being “extremist” for questioning its validity.
WADA director general David Howman said the union was acting “the way they’ve operated the last few years” in trying to block the introduction of HGH testing in the NFL.
“I would expect the players association to take a stance which is extremist,” Howman said. “What we’ve got to do is get to reality and not to a position that is an extremist position.”
The NFLPA questioned the HGH test again after Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in the case of Estonian cross-country skier Andrus Veerpalu.
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The court lifted the three-year suspension imposed by the International Ski Federation on the two-time Olympic champion for use of HGH, citing “procedural flaws” in the limits established by WADA to determine a positive test.
But the three-person CAS panel also said it believed Veerpalu did take HGH and it backed the WADA testing method as a whole.
The NFL players said the decision highlighted its long-running concerns about HGH testing in pro football.
The NFL and the union agreed in principle to HGH testing when a new 10-year labor agreement was finalized in August 2011. But protocols must be approved by both sides and the players have questioned the science in the testing procedures, delaying implementation.
• The Atlanta Falcons found a replacement for John Abraham by reaching an agreement with free-agent defensive end Osi Umenyiora on a two-year contract. The deal is for $8.5 million, with $5 million guaranteed. Umenyiora, 31, was a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the New York Giants.
• Former Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn agreed on a two-year contract with the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers re-signed unrestricted free-agent defensive tackle Dwan Edwards. Tackle Jordan Gross is staying with Carolina but his restructured deal is now worth $5.5 million in 2013, down from $8.7 million.
• The Giants put a little more money in the Victor Cruz contract fund this week by cutting the salary of right tackle David Diehl by nearly $3.5 million. He will now make $1 million. Cruz, who has led the team in receiving the past two years, remains a free agent.
• The San Diego Chargers released left tackle Jared Gaither, who will go down as one of the biggest busts in former general manager A.J. Smith’s tenure. Gaither’s release after just one season of a four-year, $24.5 million contract will cost the Chargers a $6 million hit against the salary cap this year.
• The Dallas Cowboys signed safety Will Allen and linebacker Justin Durant to free-agent contracts. Both could be potential starters in the Cowboys’ new 4-3 scheme with new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
• The Oakland Raiders released defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, cutting ties with their longest-tenured position player on the roster. General manager Reggie McKenzie cut Kelly two years before the end of his $50.1 million, seven-year contract, getting Kelly’s $6.5 million salary for 2013 off the books.
• Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley threw in front of NFL scouts for the first time since injuring his throwing shoulder in November and smiled and joked afterward.
• The Houston Texans signed fullback Greg Jones, a free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Texans needed a fullback after James Casey signed with Philadelphia.
• The Baltimore Ravens agreed to a three-year deal with former Oakland Raiders safety Michael Huff.
• Offensive lineman Lance Louis, still rehabilitating from a season-ending knee injury, signed with the Miami Dolphins.
• The Arizona Cardinals signed safety and special-teams player Jonathon Amaya.