- Associated Press - Monday, May 9, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL may turn to the World Anti-Doping Agency to oversee testing of players for performance-enhancing drugs, The New York Times reported, one of many changes it is mulling if forced by the courts to operate without a new collective bargaining agreement with the players.

A federal appeals court could require the league to end the lockout and implement rules for operating this season. The NFL currently has a temporary stay keeping the lockout in place after a U.S. District Court judge granted an injunction sought by the players to lift the work stoppage.

The Times reported Monday, citing an unidentified NFL official briefed on its planning, that the league is discussing getting WADA involved in drug testing. That could eventually lead to players being blood tested for human growth hormone for the first time.

“Our goal has at all times been the same _ to operate under a negotiated set of procedures that are agreed to by the clubs and the NFLPA,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an email, responding to the Times report. “The current litigation has created a significant amount of uncertainty and we are therefore considering a wide range of alternatives depending on developments.”

After talks broke down in March, the NFL Players Association dissolved and 10 players brought an antitrust lawsuit against the owners in March. The lockout began March 12 and has been in force for all but one day since.

Judge Susan Richard Nelson granted the players’ injunction on April 26, the league reopened for business on April 29, then shut down again when the stay was granted later that day.