Why?

NYT:

Three hours into a conference held Monday by Major League Baseball on human growth hormone, the real question of the day emerged when officials from the commissioner’s office and the players union wondered aloud about how effective the current blood test for human growth hormone was if no one had tested positive.

In the wake of last December’s Mitchell report, Commissioner Bud Selig said he would bring together leading experts in the field of performance-enhancing drugs to discuss the barriers of testing for human growth hormone.

HGH is not a performance-enhancing drug. Why is MLB doing this? The same reason I have to attend diversity training: to give the appearance of solving a problem that the public cares about. And in the case of growth hormone, public opinion is at odds with the scientific consensus.

No one would believe MLB if it stood up and stated what exercise physiologists have long known: that there are no ergogenic effects from using HGH. The response would be, “MLB is refusing to fight drugs!” They can’t win that battle any more than throwing a ball around circle to discuss racial feelings is going to cure Klansmen of racism. So, we live this bizarre fiction that HGH does work and that it is worth stopping, despite the fact that it runs counter to findings of scientific studies.

I guess I can’t blame MLB. It’s the cheapest way to fight a public relations problem—that’s all this is. And the sad part is that HGH’s prohibition signals to potential users that it works, and the drug has many bad side effects. If anything, the war on growth hormone will do more harm than good. As I have suggested before, the best solution is to legalize it.

7 Responses “Why?”

  1. Christopher Taylor says:

    While HGH hasn’t been shown to improve athletic performance, is it not quite uncontroversial that it helps the body to heal (and prescribed for that purpose by doctors)? And it is in this way many of those who have be accused of using it, have used it (Pettitte, Byrd and Bonds)… the same could be said for cortizone shots, a player using opiates for pain, et cetera… NA views on drugs are weird and inconsistent and this is just one example of such irrational behaviour/beliefs.

  2. JC says:

    The healing effect is also a myth.

  3. jfalk says:

    And even if the healing effect weren’t bogus, it would be odd to propose to ban things that helped players heal, which after all is simply to return them to their natural state.

  4. Hi. Sytropin HGH is a natural supplement that actually helps our body to begin making more of its own HGH. HGH is act as a key role for controlling the actions in our body. HGH is used for producing hormones in our body. And, For youth it useful for developing body building and also to build muscles.

    Thank you.

  5. JC says:

    If you wonder where the HGH-helps-performance propaganda comes from, see comment #4.

  6. Braves Fan says:

    HGH is not a performance-enhancing drug.“  This isn’t exactly a correct statement.  What you should have said, at least based on all documentation you’ve provided herein, is that there has been no proven connection between HGH use and athletic performance.  The same goes for your later comment “The healing effect is also a myth.”

    It is really dangerous to play doctor when you have no medical background, and without fully substantiating your comments with evidence from peer-reviewed medical sources.  Personally, I don’t have enough experience to make an informed judgment on the efficacy of HGH, but I do have enough medical experience to make a strong statement that any altering of body chemistry should not be done willy-nilly.  Additionally, it clearly will have resulting effects on body performance, whether or not that approaches a level that we should worry about as fans, or as a executives in the league itself, is another question entirely, and again one that I do not have enough evidence to judge, nor have you provided enough for me to accept your claims.

  7. JC says:

    Braves Fan,

    You might want to dig through the site a little more.  I am most definitely not an expert on the ergogenic effects of growth hormone, and I have never claimed to be one.  What I have done is report what the consensus opinion of experts.  I link to several studies in the literature. My belief is based the peer-reviewed literature, and conversations with PhD exercise physiologists and biochemists.  Also, see the testimony before Congress that preceded the Clemens hearing. The researchers agree that HGH has no performance-enhancing effects.