The NFL and the NFL Players Association have reached an agreement earlier today to improve testing for steroids and other performance enhancing drugs.

The modifications include a 40 percent increase in the number of players randomly tested each week during the preseason, regular season and post-season from seven to 10 per team. Last year, the number of random offseason tests was increased from a maximum of two per player to six per player. These changes bring the total number of steroid tests conducted annually by the NFL to 12,000.

Players will also be tested for EPO and will automatically forfeit a percentage of their signing bonus if they test positive. The NFL will be donating $500,000 to improve the testing for HGH and will use carbon isotope ratio testing on random samples; currently, they only use carbon isotope ratio testing to confirm positive tests.

I think that this is a great move by the new commissioner, and I am glad that he was able to get the players association on board. I think that an extra 2,000 random drug tests throughout the year, an increase to the maximum number of tests in the off season, and a bigger cut of the player’s salary for positive tests will convince at least a few players to stay or get clean before the 2007 season. I am looking forward to what other measures they may be able to agree upon before the next season begins.