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MLB warns against performance-enhancing ground up deer antlers

Aug 5, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT


The fact that ballplayers are using a spray made from ground up deer antlers as some sort of performance enhancer a la HGH is not news. We wrote about it back in January. What’s new, per Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated, is that Major League Baseball sent a warning to players last week that they shouldn’t use a particular brand of the deer antler spray because it could lead to positive drug test results due to contamination of some kind.

As I noted back in January, the funniest thing about the deer antler spray business is not that it’s, you know, deer antler spray. It’s that players are taking it — and the league is at least starting to get a bit worried about it — despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it actually enhances athletic performance in any way.  Yes, the active ingredient — a substance called IGF-1 — is one of the main proteins in human growth hormone, but they haven’t linked HGH to any performance enhancement either.

I predict that eventually we’ll have outraged interviews with WADA officials about how baseball has no test for deer antlers and thus doesn’t take PEDs seriously and all of that attendant baloney.

And that’s before PETA gets involved.


NOTE: The pic comes from the cartoon that I thought was, bar-none, the funniest thing I ever saw when I was a kid.  To this day, my brother and I repeat the “yeah, he had antlers like this!” line.

  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    It’s that players are taking it — and the league is at least starting to get a bit worried about it — despite the fact that there is no evidence whatsoever that it actually enhances athletic performance in any way

    Not sure why this shocks you, try to keep track of the number of athletes who wear those titanium necklaces, power bracelets, etc. If you could convince some athletes they’d play better with their underwear on their head, Hanes stock would go through the roof.

    • evanhartford - Aug 5, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      Here’s a thought. Instead of allowing players to consistently stay ahead of enforcement ala Deer Antlers and the next big PED, why not simply list out the all the approved supplements, medicines, treatments etc and basically ban EVERYTHING that ain’t on the list. If an athlete “discovers” something that they think should be approved, they can submit it to the league and let them evaluate it and make a decision. If it is discovered that an athlete used something that ain’t on the list, they get nailed.

      The SEC does this by banning all “fraud”, including the stuff they conclude is fraud after the fact. Essentially, your only way of being innocent is asking for permission instead of forgiveness. This would definitely make players think twice.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Besides, think about how upset John Buck must be at all this. Tsk Tsk you looney major leaguers, think about the families of your comrades!

  3. halladaysbiceps - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    I had not heard about this before today. This is the silliest think I have ever seen. Increased growth by spraying ground up deer? What’s next? Faster speed by ground up cheetah?

    • heyblueyoustink - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:51 PM

      He runs like a gazelle in the outfield……wait, is he really grazing during the 7th inning stretch?

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM

        Lol!! Exactly. Who’s passing this on to the players, a witch doctor?

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:01 PM

        witch doctor

    • trevorb06 - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      They should do something more productive like pray. That’ll make them play better. :-)

  4. dlevalley - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM

    One of my neighbors growing up was a research chemist. His work was basically testing the effects of various animal products.

    During high school, he discovered that ground-up deer hooves could cure acne or something like that. I always felt really bad for his daughter, who was a year or two older than me, because I could imagine him trying to get her to test out his deer hoof paste for her acne…

  5. basiltharat - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    Always thought that was one of Avery’s better spot-gag cartoons. He did, of course, have a well-established knack for gags about hunting.

  6. trevorb06 - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    We need to keep these guys away from traditional eastern medicines. If not we’ll have rhino horns, elephant tucks and bear bile being shipped to the US at an alarming rate.

    • trevorb06 - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM


  7. Old Gator - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    If I were the league office, I would be most concerned about the use of powdered rhinoceros horn to improve performance with road strange. The last thing MLB can afford right now is another Steve Garvey.

  8. halladaysbiceps - Aug 5, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    I just thought of something. Raul Ibanez started hitting like a madman in the month of July, leading all MLB in rbi’s for the month. Was he spraying deer antler spray on his bald head?

  9. rollinghighwayblues - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    I took deer velvet for two months starting in March, took 240mg daily and saw no excessive physical change due to the product. Craig’s original deer extract story is what made me do research on it and decide to try it out. I work out four days a week but the deer extract did not enhance my physical appearance or athletic ability whatsoever. I took the most potent form of the product, Southern Cross Velvet was the company name.

    • trevorb06 - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      Lets see some pics and vids.

      • spudchukar - Aug 5, 2011 at 5:48 PM

        However, shine a bright light in my face and I freeze up like a statue.

  10. kingjoe1 - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    F PETA, damn things grow back,

  11. ditto65 - Aug 5, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I still think of the trout frying the eggs when I see someone using salmon eggs for bait.

    • ditto65 - Aug 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      That thumbs down has to be personal.

      For the record, I in no way frown upon or mock people who use salmon eggs for bait. I only mention that I reflect on a childhood memory.

      I apologize if I have offended the thumbs downer in the past.

  12. Kanonen80 - Aug 5, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Let me guess: all the players involved are Dodgers, and the deer-spray comes at the recommendation of the McCourt’s “healer”?

  13. paperlions - Aug 5, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    …but players wouldn’t use it if it didn’t have an effect!


  14. macjacmccoy - Aug 6, 2011 at 8:32 PM

    HGH makes your muscles grow thats a fact. Now if they cant prove having bigger muscles helps your performance well then their idiots.

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