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NEW YORK, N. Gareth Bale Jersey .Y. - When the Super Bowl ends, three complete seasons will have come and gone without testing for human growth hormone — even though the NFL and the players union originally paved the way to check for that drug in August 2011. NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday that HGH testing is still being held up by a disagreement with the league over whether the commissioner or a neutral arbitrator will handle certain types of appeals. The union wants someone other than Commissioner Roger Goodell to rule on cases that involve violations of the law or demonstrated use of a performance-enhancing substance without a positive test. "We believe that neutral arbitration ... enhances and strengthens our system," Smith said at a news conference. Otherwise, Smith said, "The HGH policys done. Its been done. The drug policy overall is 98 per cent done." NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said another outstanding issue is whether a second offence will draw a suspension of eight or 10 games. "When there are continuing new demands (from the union), it is hard to get an agreement," McCarthy wrote in an email to The Associated Press. The 10-year collective bargaining agreement signed 2 1/2 years ago contained language that would allow for HGH testing once certain provisions could be settled. On other topics he was asked about Thursday, Smith said: — the NFLPA hasnt seen a proposal from the league about expanding the number of teams in the playoffs and wont take a position on the issue until that happens; — the union and league have had "preliminary discussions" about the possibility of eventually allowing players to use marijuana for medicinal purposes; — the union is "nearly done" with its investigation into whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers leaked information about quarterback Josh Freeman being in the NFLs substance abuse program; — he would "love to see a requirement that makes any player who wants to be eligible for the (NFL) draft ... have had a mandatory number hours in financial literacy"; — he supports plans to form the first labour union for college athletes. Aaron Ramsey Wales Jersey . Louis Blues teammates who would also be participating in the Olympics, Alex Pietrangelo felt right at home, no different in some ways to the travel experience of any old road trip – save for the length of the journey, that is. Aaron Ramsey Jersey . Pierce was ejected in the third quarter of Indianas 103-86 win Monday. George Hill stole a bad pass and was going in for a layup, and Pierce hustled back and appeared to be trying to wrap him up. . The giant slalom world champion slipped during her first run in the morning, landing on her back and then twisting forward before getting her leg caught in the protective material on the side of the slope.TORONTO - Dwane Casey was more composed than you might expect after his team surrendered 101 points in defeat on home court Wednesday night. The reason being; this loss - 101-89 at the hands of Minnesota - came in the second game of the exhibition season, a time of trial and error for the Raptors. "[We are in] no way a finished product," Casey said after the loss. "I dont think you can talk to a coach in the NBA now that is where they want to be. Were definitely not where we want to be defensively." "Weve got to fight through things, weve got to fight through adversity and I like it," he continued, stressing that a night like this, at this stage should be used as a learning experience. "I like that it showed us tonight what we have to work on, especially defensively." Casey and his staff will go back to the drawing board on Thursday, as they do after each preseason game - win or lose. For them, October is a month-long chess match, a card game thats all about gathering information, utilizing it in the gym and choosing how much of it they wish to reveal before the games count. Its a month of experimentation and tactical development. "In preseason you stick with your coverage," Casey said, pointing out that through two games the team has yet to switch into the zone defence theyve been working on. "You dont try to do anything tricky, you dont try to game plan. Were still trying to learn our defensive fundamentals." Zone coverage is expected to be a big part of what the Raptors do defensively this season -- or better yet, what they can do when the situation deems it necessary. Whether theyre using a small lineup or simply masking some of their weaker second-unit defenders, it is a trick theyd like to have up their sleeve. But for now it remains in the sleeve. "You dont want to show them too much in the preseason," said Rudy Gay, who scored 11 points in the losing effort to Minnesota. Defensive Slippage For Casey the message is, has been and will remain focused on defence. After holding the Celtics to 89 points on 40 per cent shooting in Mondays preseason victory, the teams recommitment on the defensive end took a step in the wrong direction, most notably in the third quarter where they were outscored them 28-16. "We had a lot of mental breakdowns on the defensive end that were going to come in here tomorrow and watch and try to correct," admitted DeMar DeRozan, who was a standout on the offensive end with a team-high 17 points. The Wolves shot 47 per cent from the field and 37 per cent from three-point range, where they burned Toronto in the second half. The Raptors frontcourt had their hands full all night, as expected, bodying up against a slimmer but always physical Kevin Love (20 points, nine rebounds) and Nikola Pekovic (12 points, eight rebounds). "We just have to start with the mindset that we have to do everything right," Gay put bluntly. "Were honestly not good enough to lack in any category. So we have to try to [be] as perfect as possible." A Determined DeRozan With Corey Brewer preoccupied on Gay, DeRozan took advantage of the smaller guards Minnesota threw at him. After the newly signed Kevin Martin left the game (he played six minutes and was pulled as a precaution with a sore Achilles) DeRozan began attacking the paint, routinely posting up or driving right by Alexey Shved and company. DeRozan scored all but twwo of his 17 points in the paint or from the line, finishing six-of-seven from the floor and five-for-six from the stripe. Blank Wales Jersey. He and Gay combined to shoot 14 free throws, making 12, each playing around 20 minutes. "It puts pressure on the defence," Gay said of the duos ability to draw fouls in the lane "The more we can do that the better were going to be." "Now we just [have] to start hitting shots," he joked. "Itll come, its just preseason." Another Efficient Night for the Starters Although they havent been effective from beyond the arc, an area of emphasis for that unit, the Raptors starters havent had much trouble hitting their shots. For the second straight game the starting unit shot above 50 per cent from the field and continued to build on the chemistry they developed towards the end of last season. "I thought they played solid minutes, the minutes they were in there," Casey said of the starters who, with the exception of Jonas Valanciunas, sat out the fourth quarter. Rotation Roulette Again, Casey experimented with different combinations, specifically in the second half. More than wins and losses, the Raptors coach has emphasized the importance of experimenting with his rotation and finding the groupings that work best going into the season. Casey used a couple variations of his small lineup late in the first half with Gay slotted at the four and matching up with Love. "I gained the weight he lost," Gay joked after facing a slimmed-down Love. After sitting out on Monday Steve Novak was also used as a stretch four, playing 20 minutes in place of Austin Daye, who was used in that role against Boston. Novak scored nine points off the bench, knocking down his first three triples in his Raptors debut. "We know what Steve is," Casey said. "We know who he is [and] what he can do. We wanted to give him a turn tonight." Novak, a 45 per cent three-point shooter over the last two seasons in New York, is as automatic as they come in the corner but the challenge for Casey will be masking him on defence and surrounding him with players he will complement. "From a distance you may not see exactly whats going on, but some nights some guys are playing, other [nights] guys arent," Novak said of the preseason. "I think a lot of it is for the coaches to see what theyre comfortable with, where they want to play guys [and] just see how guys react." Fallen Comrade Raptors fans received disheartening news prior to Wednesdays preseason home opener when it was reported that the teams beloved mascot, the Raptor, tore his Achilles tendon during a community visit in Halifax this weekend and will be sidelined for the season. Widely considered the best mascot in the NBA, the Raptor - and the man wearing the suit - has been with the organization, entertaining fans since the inaugural season in 1995-96. "I was disappointed," Casey said of his reaction when he heard the news. "My daughter cried. She was upset." "Hell bounce back. Hes in good hands with the physicians. The Raptor will be back, he will be back. We need his spirit and hes in our thoughts and prayers." Up Next Andrea Bargnani will make his highly-anticipated return to the Air Canada Centre with his new team, the Knicks, who make the first of two preseason visits to Toronto on Friday. TSN Radio 1050 Toronto has the game live at 7pm et. 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