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Prince
01-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Scientists Move Closer to Reliable H.G.H. Test
Written by JULIET MACUR
Monday, 17 December 2007

Shipments of human growth hormone arrived at players' doorsteps by mail and by package couriers. They were purchased via the Internet, through antiaging centers and through dealers like Kirk Radomski, a former Mets clubhouse attendant who sold it more than any other illegal substance he supplied to his Major League Baseball clients.

Shipments of human growth hormone arrived at players' doorsteps by mail and by package couriers. They were purchased via the Internet, through antiaging centers and through dealers like Kirk Radomski, a former Mets clubhouse attendant who sold it more than any other illegal substance he supplied to his Major League Baseball clients.

According to the report on doping in baseball released Thursday by the former Senator George J. Mitchell, human growth hormone has become the substance of choice for many players because there is no reliable test being used to detect it. Some players, like pitcher Andy Pettitte and the slugger Mo Vaughn, were accused of using it to help heal injuries. Others are believed to have taken it to extend their careers.

But in the coming months, antidoping experts and officials said Friday, the use of human growth hormone among professional athletes could take a marked hit. A blood test to detect the drug may become commercially available as early as this spring, according to scientists who are informed about the progress of the test's development.

Scientists must first demonstrate that the science behind the blood test is foolproof, to avoid false positives and legal battles with athletes who say they are wrongly accused of cheating, said Olivier Rabin, the science director for the World Anti-Doping Agency. He and other antidoping scientists expect the test to be ready for the Summer Olympics in Beijing.

But even if the test is deemed accurate and indisputable, which some scientists still doubt is possible, drug testers will have to overcome another hurdle: Sports leagues like Major League Baseball do not allow for blood testing of their players, and their unions oppose it. There is no urine test for the hormone.

Although athletes in sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Agency's code are already subject to blood testing, most of the analysis is still done with urine samples.

"If you aren't going to take blood from your athletes at that point, it would be like putting your head in the sand and ignoring the problem of doping in your sport," Rabin said, referring to when a test becomes available. "The best scientists in the world, physiology and Mother Nature say that blood testing is the best way to detect human growth hormone. So yes, the time has come for these sports to change."

On Thursday, Commissioner Bud Selig described the Mitchell report as "a call to action" and said he would convene a summit to address testing for human growth hormone. But implementing a test in baseball and other sports may be a challenge.

Earlier this year, the executive director of the National Football League players union, Gene Upshaw, said his players would not become "pin cushions" for drug testers wielding needles to draw blood. Other unions have also expressed resistance.

Robert D. Manfred Jr., baseball's executive vice president for labor relations, called the issue of blood testing in baseball purely "hypothetical" because of the lack of a commercially available growth-hormone test. But he said the league would consider blood testing if that test emerged. Union officials declined to comment on the issue Friday.

"Our view is that it is very important for us to stay completely on top of what is available, whether we have the current right to blood test or not," Manfred said. "We are very interested in being on the cutting edge."

The test that may be available in the spring uses antibodies to identify growth hormone not produced in the body, said Christiane Ayotte, whose laboratory in Montreal conducts the testing for baseball. The problem, Ayotte said, is that it detects growth hormone only within a few hours of its use.

"We have to be there almost when they have the syringe in their skin," she said.

Even when an athlete tests positive, scientists must demonstrate that the test works if that athlete disputes the charge.

"You can't just say: ‘My test is good. It only misses by 1 percent,'" said Don Catlin, who leads the Anti-Doping Research Institute in California. "That's why tests take a long time to develop. You need it airtight, but these things are complicated."

workingatit43
01-01-2008, 04:20 PM
Good info i sure they will come up with a test but as long as money rules sports(big ego's also) science will develop new compounds to enhance proformance it will be a never ending battle.

To put it in perspective people kill their spouses for 100k insurance policies so why would anyone be surprised that a baseball player would take HGH or steriods to say make 5 million more a season not a big shcok to me and in some ways i understand it.

Just look at the bussiness and some people will screw others even friends for a promotion for another 20k a year but those same people are outraged that a baseball player took HGH.

As long as money, ego and pride play a part in human affairs there will always be efforts to take shortcuts IMO.:thumb:

tryn2getbig
01-02-2008, 04:22 AM
If these people are so worried about steroids or HGH in pro sports then they should focus their energies, time, and efforts into battling it there. Why make the rest of the populous suffer!?! I'm no where near a pro athlete and do not take HGH or steroids in order to gain advantage over my opponent... I don't even have an opponent! So why should it be such a big deal for me? Like I said before, I could go into D.C. right now to some neighborhood that has 2-3 people on the street selling crack and get what I want! I have to scour the internet to find something that will help me in my mission to become more fit, stonger, and better looking (physically... There's no helping my looks!).