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HGH Testing and the NFL

The NFL is demanding that testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) be part of the new collective bargaining agreement with players.  The substance is banned by NFL’s drug policy but players are not tested for it because testing requires a blood test, not traditional urine testing.  The league claims HGH testing is necessary to the “integrity” of the game.  But should it make a difference that many of the players who are using it may be doing so for rehabilitation and improved injury healing, rather than for the traditional muscle-building purposes with which anabolic steroids are typically associated?  Moreover, while excessive HGH use, like the excessive use of any drug, can cause adverse effects, HGH is not associated with the types of physical side effects connected with the abuse of certain steroids (e.g., liver damage) or with the reported psychological effects of high doses of steroids in some individuals (i.e., “roid rage”).  We’ll keep you posted as things develop.

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