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Report: MLB to begin testing for HGH

Nov 19, 2011, 2:56 PM EDT

Image (1) HGH.jpg for post 4145

According to Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times, MLB’s new collective bargaining agreement, which is set to be announced early next week, will include blood testing for human growth hormone (HGH).

Here are some of the details:

The bargaining agreement, which could be announced early next week, calls for blood testing to begin in February, when players report to spring training. Players who test positive will face a 50-game suspension, which will be the same as the first-time penalty for a positive steroid test, according to the two people.

If Schmidt’s report proves correct, baseball will be the first of the major North American professional sports leagues to implement blood testing for drugs among unionized players. The NFL and NFLPA tentatively agreed to test for HGH in their recent collective bargaining agreement, but the union has yet to approve testing procedures. Baseball currently has testing for HGH among minor league players because it doesn’t need the consent of a union. Former major leaguer Mike Jacobs was the first to test positive earlier this year.

It’s definitely a surprise to learn that the players have agreed to blood tests for HGH, but if MLB uses the same type of testing they have in the minor leagues, this could be as much about positive P.R. as actually catching someone. Stay tuned.

  1. Old Gator - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Next, they’ll be testing to see if the ballplayers are taking urea.

  2. Kevin S. - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Considering the test needs to be administered within twenty-four hours of application to detect and is notoriously inaccurate, why the hell wouldn’t anybody go for this?

    • Kevin S. - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:28 PM

      Oh, and the minor little issue about there not being any scientific evidence that HGH improves the performance of elite athletes. Keep it going though, Salem city council!

      • quintjs - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        Of course there are issues – but it is better that just letting it go unchecked.

        As HGH can help a player get back on the field faster after injury, i would argue it does improve performance, on the basis you are generally more productive on the field than on the bench (some exceptions apply).

        Steroids don’t literally make you stronger, they help you go make yourself stronger.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:35 PM

        i would argue it does improve performance, on the basis you are generally more productive on the field than on the bench

        Playing Devil’s Advocate, but isn’t this a good thing? If I’m shelling out $200 for my family of four to go to a game (parking, tickets, concessions, etc), wouldn’t I want to see the best players in a game playing at their best?

      • paperlions - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        Actually, there is also no evidence that HGH will help an individual with normal HGH levels recover from injury/surgery faster….which is why HGH is not used as part of recovery for healthy individuals….just for those that have low HGH levels due to age or physiological defect.

        This is a smart PR move by both MLB and the MLBPA, who should have already told their players specifically not to waste their time and money taking HGH because it is a non-factor.

    • JBerardi - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      “Considering the test needs to be administered within twenty-four hours of application to detect and is notoriously inaccurate, why the hell wouldn’t anybody go for this?”

      Anti-drug hysteria, grandstanding, political pressure, public relations… lots of reasons (none of them good, but whatever).

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        Anti-drug hysteria

        I completely agree with you, but it’s hilarious considering I can’t go 5 min without seeing a penis related drug during a football game (cialis, viagra, enzyte, etc)…

  3. needtoplay - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    Glad to see the union agree to this, regardless how well it can be tested. The union needs to work with the owners on an issue like this… cheating does no one any good, especially the fans, who deserve to see clean players playing a clean game. That is not too much to ask, nor expect.

    Good for them. Good for us.

    And excellent that baseball is, once again, avoiding labor issues.

  4. watchfullhose - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM


  5. dadawg77 - Nov 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    It looks like the players gave this up and the draft bonus luxury tax for more money and a better deal for the super twos.

  6. mom2theboss - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:11 PM

    Well, well, well New York Yankees……looks like your number is FINALLY up!!

  7. jonrambo - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    I guess Mark McGuire will have to disappear again for a while. Cards are going to miss out on all those “pointers” he was giving out last year

  8. randomdigits - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:45 PM


  9. mojosmagic - Nov 19, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Your a fraud Jose Bautista so go ahead and shave your roid beard hiding your acne. Here is guy who goes from being a bad singles hitter at age 31, to hitting 50 HR’s, many of which were epic distances. It doesn’t work like that in the real world.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:46 PM

      If you are going to accuse Bautista of being on steroids, you are obligated to use the term “Rogue Chemist” in your diatribe.

    • Reflex - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:15 PM

      Have you sent a similiar screed to Roger Maris’ family?

    • cur68 - Nov 20, 2011 at 4:21 AM

      “epic distances”? WTF are you talking about? He’s a line drive home run pull hitter working with short fence. He rarely hits them more than 420 feet. The biggest home runs are Fielders (longest for the season was 486). Bautista’s longest it a mere 456; ranks below 40th place for distance.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Bautista’s longest it a mere 456; ranks below 40th place for distance.

        And that’s only about 10′ longer than Granderson’s longest this year. But wait, are we accusing Granderson of PEDs as well? I can’t keep my outrage straight anymore.

  10. bcopus - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Wow. Say anything about HGH or steroids and watch these people come out of the hills. Don’t even bother telling them there is NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that there is any benefit for a regular person taking HGH. Again, do not bother. They do not understand the words NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. Because science is a strange and scary thing that grows sentient brains in jars.

    • Kyle - Nov 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Why rely on science when we have years of hyperbolic conjecture to fall back on?

  11. randygnyc - Nov 19, 2011 at 8:48 PM

    That’s the end of Jose Bautista’s career.

    • Reflex - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:15 PM


  12. deathmonkey41 - Nov 20, 2011 at 8:25 PM

    There are people that argue that steroids don’t help players either. If they didn’t help, players wouldn’t risk getting arrested for purchasing them illegally or getting exposed in the papers. Trust me, David Ortiz is starting to sweat out that fried chicken grease.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 20, 2011 at 9:34 PM

      Baseball players do all sorts of stupid shit for something they think will help them. That doesn’t mean it does. Science, not anecdotes, should be the determining factor on whether or not something enhances performance.

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