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Everything you ever wanted to know about HGH but were afraid to ask

Apr 2, 2010, 8:28 AM EDT

HGH.jpgJason at IIATMS has expanded his writing roster recently, and one of his additions is Larry, a lawyer/executive with significant experience in all matters relating to HGH and PED testing.  Last night he wrote an extensive and quite entertaining Q&A regarding HGH testing, use and effects that is must-read material for anyone who tries to talk intelligently about this kind of stuff on the interwebs.  There’s masses of scientific information-made-accessible in the post, but since I’m a big apologist and everything, this quote stuck out at me:

It seems that when it comes to anti-doping, perception is more important
than reality. The players perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing.
The fans perceive that HGH is performance-enhancing. The anti-doping
forces believe that they have a foolproof test to catch the athletes
using HGH. IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, NONE OF THESE PERCEPTIONS ARE TRUE. Yet
the perceptions takes on lives of their own. It seems likely that
baseball WILL go forward with some kind of HGH testing. The only
question is when.

Put that together with all of the difficulty Larry points out regarding the creation and implementation of HGH tests and you quickly realize that the discussion about HGH use in baseball is really more about politics than it is about performance enhancement.

  1. Simon DelMonte - Apr 2, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Hats off to Jason and Larry for some really good journalism. Yet again, the best bloggers show the way.

  2. Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:12 AM

    Thanks for the kind words.
    Leave it to Craig to play up Larry’s lawyerly profession! Though, truth is, having someone who really knows how to READ was a big deal for me. Having a lawyer with PED/entertainment industry experience “on staff” was a big win for us.
    captchya: evicting team

  3. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    For some reason some of the links are broken, for instance the “retain more water” link and figure “not” a few questions below both don’t work. The links seem to point back to the article in question.
    Great read though, need to bookmark that for, just guessing here, possible future Craig articles on HGH.

  4. Larry@IIATMS - Apr 2, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Craig, thanks! To clarify, I’m not a PED “expert” in the sense of being a scientist or having a day job in the field.
    Church, thanks! Let’s see if I can give you the missing links:
    http://www.popsci.com/entertainment-gaming/article/2008-02/does-hgh-make-men-stronger-and-women-hotter for the “retain water” link
    http://www.slate.com/id/2162473/ for the “not” link.
    Simon, thanks! I agree, since I know and follow people on the web who cover this topic. But the work of good reporters like Craig is essential — he’s the guy who has to figure out when people like me might be making sense. That isn’t always easy!

  5. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    Thanks Larry, and great article. The following question got me some confused looks from coworkers because I couldn’t stop laughing:

    Q: If i say I don’t understand, are you going to start talking about M&Ms again?

    Also seem to be a lot of broken links, maybe something happened when the article was saved? bad encoding?

  6. Jason @ IIATMS - Apr 2, 2010 at 11:50 AM

    Links should be working now! Thanks guys
    captchya: fiddly because

  7. DrBombay - Apr 2, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    I didn’t really see anything there that I haven’t gotten by simply doing a search for HGH. Half of the Q&A was devoted to saying you can’t test for HGH. Simple stuff. Instead of talking about what doesn’t work, why not do some research on what might work. For instance, even though HGH might not help grown athletes; it has a great effect on very young people taking it. Increased height during childhood is the most widely known effect of HGH. In addition to increasing height in children and adolescents, HGH has many other effects on the body. Increased calcium retention and mineralization of bone, increased muscle mass, stimulates the growth of all internal organs excluding the brain, stimulates the immune system. Anyway, I could keep writing about this stuff but it’s not my job. And anyone doing a little checking would see that I lifted most of this from Wikipedia. Why not on article on blood doping, the latest amphetimines, testosterone supplements, energy enhancers, statins, painkiller addictions, ephedra, and maybe something about valium, zanax, and adderall; to name a few.

  8. Michael - Apr 2, 2010 at 3:49 PM

    This is stuff I’ve been saying for years now, but the sports-talk-radio crowd prefers to believe that all PEDs enhance performance across the board. ‘Cuz otherwise why would they be called PEDs?
    Then again, they thought corked bats helped, too.

  9. Michael - Apr 2, 2010 at 4:01 PM

    I also have to say that Jason fell into the same trap as every other PED discussion:
    He ignores the modern athlete’s rigid nutrition and training regimen, which even without a single PED, makes him stronger and faster.
    Many athletes take PEDs that are little more than a placebo, but make large gains through strict nutrition and training. They think it’s the PEDs because, well, because they’re taking them.

  10. Larry@IIATMS - Apr 2, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    Dr. B, if your reaction is that my article restates what’s known about HGH and that you could have written it yourself, great! The article was intended to be an introduction at a level that everyone can understand. I appreciate that HGH is a valuable drug when prescribed for its intended use. As for the other PEDs (actual and alleged), they’re all potential topics for future articles. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate criticism.
    Michael, as you know, I’ve responded to you over at IIATMS. Again, I appreciate your comments and your interest in my article.

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