therefore you must be cheating. WADA you taking with your protein
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is riding high after
years of chasing down Lance Armstrong, and today has once more set it's
sights on the NBA. In an
article by Henry Abbot from ESPN.com, they allege that the NBA has
"gaps" in their testing programs.
They believe that the NBA should be testing for
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) instead of simply stating it is banned in
the NBA. The NBA says it isn't the same kind of problem for the
NBA as it is in other sports.
First, what exactly are athletes supposedly getting
by using HGH? The belief is that it will make you taller and
stronger by increasing muscle mass.
The problem is that scientific studies, such as this
Movement, 2008, vol. 9 (1),62-75 written by Katarzyna Krych,
Department of Biology and Environmental Protection, University School
of Physical Education, Poznań, Poland and Anna Goździcka-Józefiak, Department of Molecular Virology, Adam
Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland; and this one, from the
National Center for Biotechnology Information, Systematic review:
the effects on growth hormone on athletic performance 2008 May
20;148(10):747-58. Epub 2008 Mar 17 all show that there is NO conclusive
evidence of an increase in muscle strength.
So you look bigger, and maybe taller, but you are not necessarily
In fact, this study, also
from NCBI, finds that people with elevated levels of HGH actually
have less stamina for physical activity, and another study by the
Danish Institite of Sports Medicine (mentioned in the study linked
above) determined that cyclists tested "were unable to complete
accustomed cycling tasks after administration of exogenous HGH".
WADA points to Major League Baseball players, and
more recently Lance Armstrong and some members of his U.S. Cycling team
as beneficiaries of this, but in all cases, they were also taking other
stuff. According to the studies, HGH alone isn't really
My problem with WADA is this: their testing
proceedures are not always followed. With Lance Armstrong, we
have seen that U.S. Courts will not take a case involving the
arbitration process WADA offers to the accused. The
WADA code, the rules by which they administer tests and handle
grievances and appeals, is written, to handle everything internally,
and if you choose not to fight an accusation, they are automatically
considered right, and can punish you as they wish.
But the people at WADA operate under the
presumption of guilt BEFORE proven guilty. In the ESPN.com
article, WADA Director David Howman said, "We work on the basis that there's no
sport, and no country, which is immune. Better, therefore, to be
to be aggressive in the way you go forward than to be complacent."
Think about that. WADA, which makes it's home
in Canada, has a based it's entire approach in a manner directly
contradictory to the basis of United States Law. They ASSUME
everyone's taking something unless they PROVE otherwise.
Now, I'm not so silly as to think there's no drug
abuse in the game of Basketball. The death of Len Bias alone should clearly demonstrate
otherwise. Add in the number of players serving lifetime bans for
failing drug tests, and you realize that there is a problem.
But I don't think that HGH is the "magic bullet",
and I think WADA knows it. They just want to get a foothold in
the professional sports in the USA, such as baseball, football, and
basketball. They enjoy throwing their weight around. While
I grant they were eventually proven correct with Lance Armstrong, they
went on for YEARS making accusations without proof, instead of quietly
building their case and accusing him once they had something resembling
real evidence. WADA in general is annoyed that the major US
sports leagues have so far resisted their advcances, made not unlike a
shady person on a streetcorner, offering them a chance to feel
better. Sound familiar?
What if they were ultimately proven wrong about
him? How much damage was done?
The procedures are NOT foolproof, this is documented
fact. They have been known to botch tests and try to use them
I support drug testing in professional sports, and in connection with other drugs,
wouldn't mind a test for HGH. But I totally oppose any attempt by
WADA to inject itself into the process. I prefer an independent,
certified lab, and a testing process--including an appeals
process--that abides by OUR laws, not WADA's laws.
WADA is using scare tactics to try to bully people
into doing what THEY want, instead of supporting a process that is
fair, unbiased, and legal. That is wrong and I oppose it totally.
And that's the view from the doghouse.