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Former Seahawk describes pressure to use human growth hormone

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christian fauria

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By Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times 

Christian Fauria spent 13 seasons as an NFL tight end. He won two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots. He understands the hunger for any possible physical edge.

But he said he couldn’t bring himself to use human growth hormone.

He did buy it though. He held the vials in his hands. He contemplated injecting himself with the banned substance, but…

“Too chicken to go through with it,” Fauria told The Times on Wednesday.

“I did my research. I had tons of ankle problems, and I was looking for a way to get back faster. I purchased it.… But what you had to go through to do it, at least the guys I talked to, I was like, ‘No way. You can’t regulate that stuff.’ I had no desire to be shooting myself up with a needle once or twice a week. I just wasn’t doing it.”

Fauria’s disclosure comes as the NFL and NFL Players Assn. are poised to conduct a “population study,” drawing blood from all NFL players to determine a baseline for what constitutes an abnormal HGH reading.

The union sent a memo to players and their representatives this week, outlining a tentative agreement for the league to test 40 players each week of the season, with positive tests drawing four-week suspensions. Players who failed would be subject to additional testing for the next two seasons. A player who tested positive a second time would be suspended eight games; a player whose test results remained negative during that period would be removed from the list.

The sides have gone back and forth on blood testing since the summer of 2011, when the issue was supposed to have been resolved as part of the latest collective-bargaining agreement. There is no timetable for the start of testing as the sides continue to negotiate the details.

Fauria said he considered doing almost anything for a career edge, even if it meant breaking the rules. He played for Seattle, New England, Washington and Carolina in a career that stretched from 1995 to 2007. He said the presence of HGH was a fact of life in the league, although he couldn’t say whether the use was rare or rampant.

“I didn’t realize it until my sixth year,” said Fauria, 41, a former Crespi High standout who was playing for the Seahawks at the time. “Before that, everybody was taking ephedrine and creatine, stuff like that. Everything was legal, vitamins, supplements.

For the complete Los Angeles Times story, go here.

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