NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver refuted a claim in CBS Sports that the NBA and the National Basketball Player’s Association have a long way to go before reliable testing for human growth hormone (HGH) can be achieved, but acknowledged there were still significant hurdles to overcome before anything can be put into practice.
Silver says there’s two primary factors holding back the testing. Former executive director of the NBPA Billy Hunter was placed on “indefinite leave” back in February following numerous accusations of illicit behavior, including nepotism, and NBPA attorney Ron Klempner has acted as interim executive director in his place until the NBPA can find a proper director. The NBPA also just recently hired Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul as their union president.
The NBPA recently retained a firm to help with their search, but while Klempner is acting on an interim basis, it’s hard for anything to get done, Silver alleges.
The second issue is that the NFL has yet to come to an agreement on their testing methods, something that Silver sees as a benchmark for other sports. “Because they haven’t reached their agreement on HGH, it would’ve been easier for us, especially with an interim executive director, to fall in line behind them. So I don’t think we’re that far apart.”
“I think there’s a philosophical understanding, an agreement between the two parties, that it’s necessary,” Silver added. “(The players) want a level playing field as well. It’s just we’ve got to come together and figure out the right way to ensure the sanctity of the testing.”
Paul reportedly is ready to fight any league proposal that includes HGH testing. At least one Nets player has said privately that he’s willing to take any and all testing necessary.
Silver understands that the issue is a significant one for the Player’s Association. “It’s taking blood from players as part of a testing process, and ensuring that the testing is state-of-the-art and is done in all the appropriate ways.”