Inspired by Smileyman’s post, "NFL Labor Issues: Looking at the CBA, part 1" and the notice of the second main concern regarding HGH and steroid testing, I would like for us to look at this deeper. While we concentrate on money figures and an extended season, we once again turn a blind eye to PEDs. This has a huge impact on the NFL. Many people watch the game with skepticism that our athletes are not completely clean. HGH testing could increase the integrity of the game and save the athletes’ future, or it could shine a light on a nasty secret. Do you think the game is laced with PEDs or do you think that it is clean for the most part? Please join me in finding out what the big deal is.
An article from the NFL wire reports nearly a year ago has shown that the league has wanted to start testing players for HGH while the union has felt that the current drug testing procedures have been adequate. Currently the NFL uses urine tests which do not detect HGH. At the moment it is argued that HGH does not have an adequate test despite its testing for the 2004 Olympics. Or that the window of time for the test to use is very short, especially if the tests are warned to players prior as has been reported. Roy Williams has already admitted that he used a banned substance called "ultimate spray" which is a byproduct of HGH. Former 49er Bill Romanowski has also admitted to using HGH as far back as 2001, a decade ago. Currently Ray Lewis is under suspicion of using deer antler velvet extract: HGH. So far we have a retired player admitting to using HGH, a current player admitting it, and another current player being questioned at least and without a drug test even available yet. Why is the union avoiding this?
HGH, human growth hormone, is used for hormone deficient patients and is used to help AIDS victims. It is used to reduce body fat, increasing energy, and general recovery and heightened immune system. It affects many different tissues like skin, bone, tendons, and muscles. Think of the player as having a resistance to injury, quicker recovery time and keeps the body lean and in shape. X-Men’s Wolverine anyone? Think of the advantages one would have during an 18 game season, especially for older players. Now, it hasn’t shown to make one stronger. In fact HGH is shown to decrease stamina and slows training recuperation. This is why many HGH claims have been linked to steroids also. So during this whole HGH talk, don’t forget about his older brother that has been around for quite some time. That is why it is important to test for both. Now imagine Joe Clean busting his butt in the offseason eating constantly, finding the energy to have more intense workouts, avoiding injury like the plague. If he gets injured he will have a long wait until he can slowly go back to his routine. Now Harold Hormone comes in and works just as hard as Joe Clean except he has little fears of getting hurt. If he does, he will come back quicker. Not to mention he heals quicker from his normal workouts and has more energy to do them. Rambo swears by them! Look at him at 61!
So why don’t we all take HGH? Well, that quick recovery didn’t come without a price. After extended use the user will suffer from joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, abnormal bone thickening (like Bonds’ growing skull), diabetes, man-boobs, and high blood pressure. Chronic use will result in colon cancer and Hodgkin’s disease. Add to the fact that this stuff hasn’t been studied very long and is usually included with steroid use and it is not pretty.
The NFL claims to have one of the best drug-testing systems in sports. Show me. I say they test as much as they possibly can, totally random (even the Mannings can see a needle), and include HGH and as many known steroids. If they have a prescription, let them use that to defend themselves. I have been randomly drug tested and my feelings were not hurt, I had nothing to hide. If you disagree with me, please feel free to. That is why I am writing this post. As a warning, I do have strong feelings towards drug use.