CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met two weeks ago with the leading members of a congressional committee probing doping in sports to discuss the league’s testing program for performance-enhancing drugs.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said Goodell requested the Sept. 27 meeting in Washington with Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the chairman and minority leader, respectively, on the House Committee on Government Reform.

Aiello declined to provide details.

A source close to the committee described the meeting as “really a meet and greet” in which Goodell affirmed “how important this issue is to him, that he was committed to funding research” for a urine test for human growth hormone.

The source said the meeting was “rather short” because Davis and Waxman had to leave for a vote.

Goodell requested the meeting after receiving a faxed letter from Waxman on Sept. 7, just hours before the NFL season kicked off.

Waxman expressed concern in the letter about revelations in an Aug. 27 Charlotte Observer story detailing the involvement of now-former Carolina Panthers players with Dr. James Shortt. The story provided details of banned substances obtained by the players.

“The new report by the Observer, if true, shows a deeper penetration of steroids into the NFL” than revealed in a league report provided to the committee about the Panthers’ case in October 2005, Waxman wrote in the letter.

Waxman urged the NFL to upgrade its testing program and reiterated his contention that the league needed to address the potential abuse of human growth hormone. The league doesn’t test for HGH because it says the blood test used recently during the Olympics isn’t reliable.

Davis told the Observer after an Aug. 30 meeting about steroids in Washington that the Panthers’ case was the “tip of the iceberg” of what might be going on in the NFL.

Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw have discussed potential changes in the testing program but have made no announcements.



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