Wednesday, February 24, 2010

HGH testing?

I read an article recently talking about HGH testing. Apparently the plan is to use a blood test in the minor leagues. First, I think this is great news. Developing a test for HGH has been difficult, and in my opinion, a test is needed. But there's a problem.

They're not going to catch anyone.

Okay, so they might catch a couple of idiots, but minor leaguers aren't using HGH. Unlike steroids, it's very expensive and hard to obtain. You need a pile of cash and a crooked doctor. I'm not saying that zero minor leaguers are using HGH, but the numbers are very, very small. They simply lack the resources to obtain the substance.

I also hope that the test has been thoroughly developed. If it hasn't been adquately tested, then minor leaguers shouldn't simply be guinea pigs. Maybe our lives really are worth less than others.

I'm all for HGH testing, but I'm a little skeptical about this news. Hopefully the test is a good one, and hopefully testing will be expanded to include non minor leaguers. Until then, I'll contain my excitement.

9 comments:

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

I would like to know what baseball players think is the benefit of HGH.

According to college professors, HGH does not do anything to help with a player's performance, see this link: http://www.sabernomics.com/sabernomics/index.php/2007/04/i-dont-worry-about-hgh-in-baseball-and-neither-should-you/

Though it does seem to help with healing faster, so there is some advantage, but it does not make you be a better player, just the player you were before faster. But where does one draw the line? For example, there have been players who got Tommy Johned and ended up better than they were before. And why is surgery OK to get better but medicine is not?

And while amphetamines help tired ballplayers perform at the peak of their abilities, drinking coffee and colas appear to do the same as well (as well as all those energy drinks like Red Bull etc.). I understand that there is the legal issue as well, but, again, where does one draw the line on what is OK and what is not?

I would also recommend reading this link (great author, check out his other articles on that website if you like to read a wide variety of topics) regarding sports and the testing for drugs: http://www.gladwell.com/2001/2001_08_10_a_drug.htm

Lastly, I don't know how saber-oriented you are, but some look at the last two decades and see the result of steroids in the game, but one of the top sabermetric analysts (who was the one who wrote the bible for the A's long ago, Eric Walker) makes the persuasive argument that it was the balls that were juiced, not the players: http://highboskage.com/juiced-ball.shtml

Some food for thought, hope you like it.

obsessivegiantscompulsive said...

Forgot that Walker also had a whole website espousing his opinion that it is much ado about nothing: http://steroids-and-baseball.com/

His subtitle on that says it all: "why just about everything you think you know about them is wrong"

I haven't fully read this in a while, but just his analysis on SillyBall makes me think that the worry about the PED drugs, beyond the legal aspect of it, is mostly about nothing regarding actual baseball, but more about the human side, how players hurt their bodies and risk their lives when the stuff does not really help that much, if any, on the baseball field, beyond the placebo effect that it probably had on lunkheads like Canseco and McGwire.

gbroshuis said...

Thanks for those links. I've come across some of them, but others I haven't. I'll check them out.

As for HGH and baseball, as far as I have read, no report has ever provided direct evidence of a performance benefit. That being said, it does seem to enhance muscle hypertrophy, which could probably be indirectly linked to performance. And then, as you pointed out, there is the increase in healing time. That could be considered a benefit as well.

Thanks again.

Billy said...

Athletes are switching to homeopathic oral sprays because they are legal for over the counter sales, add only a trace amount of growth hormone into the system, and they target the liver to produce more IGF-1. It's not HGH that brings the invigoration properties, it's an increase in IGF-1 that brings the performance enhancing results.

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