NFL Institutes HGH Testing

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No Penalties…Yet

For the 2013-2014 season, when players walk into training camp, one of the first things that will happen is a blood test checking for HGH. This study will be used to determine what an acceptable and normal level of HGH is in an NFL player. Even though there will be testing, no player will be penalized if they test positive this season for HGH.

Human Grow Hormone, or better known as HGH, is one of the hormones created in the pituitary gland that the body produces while you are young to help you grow to a normal size and at a normal rate. Along those same lines, HGH helps with bone and muscle maturity and helps regulate your metabolism. As you grow older, the HGH in your body depletes. Doctors have found that HGH can help with children who are born small and for such diseases as Turner’s Syndrome. Synthetic HGH was first developed in 1985 to help people with such medical issues.

Unfortunately HGH and synthetic HGH has hit the world of professional sports. It has been used to heal pro athletes who are injured or after surgery. But because of it being considered a performance-enhancing drug, it is illegal for pro athletes to use unless they are administered by a team doctor for a valid reason.

We have heard about the accusations of the misuse of it in Major League Baseball and the Lance Armstrong scandal. Making it illegal doesn’t stop its use. Now the accusations have spread to the NFL and apparently, it has been in the NFL for longer than anyone thought.

Easy To Obtain

It is easy to get as well. An unnamed NFC starter has stated that he believes that at least 10 to 15 players on each team use HGH on a regular basis. But until recently, there was no sure way of knowing how many players had and are using HGH because there was no way to test for it in the league. The NFL and the NFL Association of Players agreed that there needed to be HGH testing but until a few days ago, the idea of testing was going nowhere.

While some NFL players deny that HGH or synthetic HGH are being misused, its hard not to notice how big NFL players have gotten over the years. In 1970, there was only one 300 plus pound player in the league. At the 2010 training camp, that number jumped to 532. The players are bigger and the hits are harder. Sure that makes for a more fun game for the spectators to watch, but it also means that the game is much more dangerous and that the risk for career-ending injuries is a lot higher.

Players Are Penalized For Steroid Use

Last season, two dozen players were penalized for steroid use as well as Adderall use. Makes you wonder if they had a test for HGH, would some of those players have tested positive for HGH as well? But do the fans even care? Sure, we would all like the game to be fair, for talent to fight against talent and not some juiced up super beast. But what would happen if a handful of NFL players on each team tested positive for HGH? Would they be suspended for a game? For the season?

The NFL has not come up with any guidelines as to what the penalties would be for a positive test yet. But if the price to pay is suspension, most fans will not be happy. Would the game be the same if all of the Tebows and OchoCincos were on the sidelines during games? Would fans be as passionate about their favorite teams as they are now? This might just be the beginning of a PR nightmare that the NFL won’t wake from any time soon. It took two years for the NFL to get to this point on the HGH debate. It might be a few more years before they know how they are going to handle HGH using players.