It’s hard to take MLB serious when it forms a task force to support anti-doping research that includes the following priorities.
• New methods to more cost-effectively detect and deter the use of banned and illegal substances at every level of sport
• Identification and detection of designer substances the consequences of doping, from both a medical and ethical perspective
• The further development of a widely-available, cost-effective test to detect Human Growth Hormone (HGH) [Emphasis added]
I have no problem with the first two goals, but why—WHY!—must they insist on continuing the needless war on growth hormone. There is no point in devoting resources to an HGH test, when there is no evidence that the drug improves performance. Why not go after B-12 while they are at it? Even the Mitchell Report acknowledges this.
A number of studies have shown that use of human growth hormone does not increase muscle strength in healthy subjects or well-trained athletes. Athletes who have tried human growth hormone as a training aid have reached the same conclusion. The author of one book targeted at steroid abusers observed that “[t]he most curious aspect of the whole situation is that I’ve never encountered any athlete using HGH to benefit from it, and all the athletes who admit to having used it will usually agree: it didn’t/doesn’t work for them.” (pp. 9-10)
My plan is cheaper and money would be better spent by educating players on the lack of performance-enhancing effects of growth hormone. Instead, we are stuck with this.