Adrian Peterson has heard the rumors and even seen a Twitter account set up to accuse him of using Human Growth Hormone. His response: It's a compliment that some might think that, but he is clean.
Peterson said after the Vikings' first training camp practice Friday morning that he welcomes a new NFL policy, the details of which are being hammered out with the NFL Players Association, that calls for blood samples from players to test for HGH.
"I like it. I love it. I've been hoping that they did this a long time ago to even out the playing field and make the guys be honest and true to themselves," Peterson said. "I can't wait until they draw my blood."
Testing for HGH was agreed upon between the NFL and the players union in the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement, but the testing procedures are still being discussed.
Peterson has been called "Wolverine," a reference to an X-Men character, after his recovery from torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in December 2011. He returned for the start of the 2012 season and rushed for 2,097 yards, eight yards short of the single-season record.
He looks forward to the testing because it will end the implication from some fans that he was using HGH to help his recovery.
"I seen a Twitter page that was HGHPeterson. It was funny," Peterson said. "It will be cool once the tests come out. I take it as a compliment. When I hear people say stuff like that it shows me how blessed I am. But, yeah, it will definitely clear a lot of stuff up.
"It is what it is. It's part of life. People are going to think one thing or another no matter what you tell them. I don't buy into it because they really don't listen to it. They have their own opinion."
However, Peterson doesn't seem to doubt that some NFL players could be using HGH. He looks forward to the day that testing can separate those that do and those that go about their business without the assistance that HGH provides.
"I think it will have a big impact. It will bring a lot of people to light. It will clear a lot of people on the outside and the curiosity when it comes to different players," Peterson said. "So I'm all in for it. I don't worry about those type of supplements. I'm all-natural. I work hard. This here will be a test for me personally to let everybody know that, hey, I'm clean as a whistle, and other guys as well. Then it will bring some guys to the forefront: ‘I guess that's why this guy is performing so well.'
"You've got HGH, something that doesn't show up on a test and you've got guys that are out there trying to provide for their family. You've got guys that are going to try to get that edge, get that advantage, especially if they are not worried about getting caught.
Jared Allen also said he supports the idea of testing players for performance-enhancing drugs.
"I'm a fan of it because I don't there's a place for them (PEDs) in our sport," Allen said. "Hopefully if anybody's on them, they'll stop using them. You'd like to think that everybody's playing clean."
As for Peterson, he said he doesn't really care what others may think about his recovery.
"I'm true to myself and I know that I have a lot of respect for this game and the guys that came before me and the guys that did it the right way," he said. "That's what I'm all about."
Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
'All-natural' Peterson embraces HGH testing
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