There has been talk of implementing a blood testing program for Human Growth Hormone for years, and the NBA and NBPA announced Thursday that testing for HGH will become part of the league’s anti-drug program next season.
The most recent collective bargaining agreement in 2011 involved procedures on how to move forward to determine the best way to implement HGH testing in the NBA. Four years later, and the plan is finally agreed upon, and the testing will begin at next season’s training camps.
All NBA players will be subject to three random, unannounced tests throughout the year. Two of those tests will occur during the season, while one will occur during the offseason. There will also be “reasonable cause” testing for HGH, so if a player blows up in muscle mass or has an abnormally fast recovery from an injury, the league may decide to look into it and administer a test.
The punishments for failed tests are as follows: 20 games for the first violation, 45 games for the second and a dismissal from the NBA for a third. The “three strikes and you’re out” punishment makes sense, although it’s kind of strange that it goes from basically half a season to kicked out of the league.