The National Football League will become the first professional American sports league to test its players for human growth hormone.
The decision came as a ratification of the collective bargaining agreement players and owners consented to after months of bargaining to end the league’s nearly 5-month lockout.
HGH, as its more commonly known, is the same performance-enhancing substance that fueled Major League Baseball’s recent steroid scandal.
The league will begin testing players during the first week of the regular season which starts on Sept. 8.
NFL players will join other athletes around the world — including those in Olympic sports under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency — in submitting to blood tests for HGH. Gary Wadler, immediate past chairman of WADA’s prohibited list and methods subcommittee, said the NFL was overdue to enact such testing and other U.S. pro sports leagues should follow suit.