HGH in Sports

The use of HGH by athletes is a controversial topic. However, we are also learning that Human Growth Hormone can play a significant role in helping athletes recover from injuries more quickly.

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Mark Cuban spends nearly $1m to see if HGH heals Major Injuries

HGH in sportsSports governing bodies universally agree that Human Growth Hormone, known as HGH should be banned due to its performance-enhancing effects. In fact, it’s probably the biggest reason why you and I can’t get just get a script from a doctor and go buy HGH.

However, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban is on a quest to see that NBA players and other athletes can use HGH to heal from major injuries.

As you’ll see below, Cuban is sponsoring research that could eventually make growth hormone acceptable in pro sports. More importantly to you, this could take HGH out of the shadows and into prescription drug status.

So keep reading to see what exactly the HGH study will entail, how long it could be before the drug is legalized, and the reason why sports leagues will eventually allow HGH use.

U. of Michigan Study will see if HGH heals ACL Tears

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence on bodybuilding forums to suggest HGH does an excellent job at helping athletes recover from injuries faster and even mend old, nagging injuries.

But are the healing effects of growth hormone so strong that it could repair something as devastating as an anterior crucial ligament (ACL) tear?

This is the question on the mind of Cuban, who’s seen plenty of NBA players go down with ACL injuries over the years.

“It (HGH) has a lot of potential to help injured tissues regenerate,” said Cuban. “If HGH does work in this fashion, it would be rather unethical to withhold a treatment.”

The Potential of HGH Usage

In order to figure out the potential of growth hormone, Cuban has given $800,000 to the University of Michigan so that they can carry out a two-year study on how the drug hastens recovery from ACL injuries. The study will see one group receive HGH injections before and after ACL surgery and another group receive placebo injections. If all goes well, this research will not only show the healing capabilities of HGH, but also make it more acceptable in society.

“Working together could lead us from the path of demonizing HGH and even testosterone towards a complete understanding,” Cuban said. “It could allow us to make a data-based decision rather than the emotional decision we are currently making.”

Assuming the University of Michigan research turns up positive results, Cuban hopes that this will convince the NBA and other sports leagues to consider allowing HGH use for injuries. He’s compared it to baseball players getting Lasik eye surgery to see the ball better or Tommy John surgery, where an injured elbow ligament is replaced with a tendon from the forearm.

HGH Performance-Enhancing Effects to consider…

Unlike when he invests in entrepreneurs on the Shark Tank, Cuban is not looking for an immediate profit with his $800k investment into the U. of Michigan’s research. He even said, “I don’t want this to be about me.” But it certainly can’t hurt that, as evidenced by his numerous NBA fines, he loves ruffling feathers by fighting conventional wisdom. So it makes sense why Cuban would fund the Michigan researchers when they approached him after reading his HGH thoughts in an ESPN article.

“I love to test and challenge any schools of thought that have not been thought out,” he wrote to ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “This partnership (w/ Michigan) was a great first step toward finding the facts about HGH.”

HGH Usage can be a catch-22 at times

But even if the facts reveal that growth hormone does a tremendous job of mending connective tissue tears, sports leagues will be concentrating on the drug’s performance-enhancing abilities. Research has shown that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) can increase muscle mass in users over the long term (1). An Australian study funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency concluded that sprinters who took human growth hormone improved their sprint time by 0.4 seconds (2).

These performance-enhancing effects obviously don’t bode well for growth hormone being accepted into mainstream sports or being reclassified by the FDA anytime soon. Even Christopher Mendias, the athletic trainer, and physiologist who’s leading the Michigan research estimates that it will be another 10-15 years before the FDA considers changing the drug’s restricted status.

Here’s why HGH will be allowed in Sports

Although growth hormone has a long road to go before becoming accepted in sports, it’s very likely that this will happen someday. As mentioned before, many bodybuilders on forums speak highly of HGH’s healing properties. Leading experts like Thomas H. Murray, a noted scholar who advises sports leagues on anti-doping policies, believe that it should serve a purpose in sports.

“Would I deny an athlete the possibility of more rapid healing and a prospect of a better life long term with less disability from that injury just because we know some people misuse this drug for sports performance?” asked Murray. “I would find that an impossible position to sustain.”

Of course, the key issue here will be distinguishing HGH use for serious injuries from those looking to gain an athletic advantage. And as Murray told ABC News, the challenge will be setting solid guidelines on legitimate growth hormone use.

“If it’s approved for ACL injuries, will people then want to use it for other, less-severe injuries, and push to have it administered closer to the time of performance?” Murray pondered. “Yes, we know all that will happen. So policies like this come down to very practical things. Can you create a reasonable set of rules that would shut the door to the most obvious abuses but would leave it open for genuine therapeutic uses?”

HGH to recover from bad injuries

high quality HGHIf the NBA were to approve growth hormone for injury recovery, they could run into the same problem that the Ultimate Fighting Championship had with testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).

Fighters like Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort used TRT after doctors determined that their testosterone level qualified for treatment. Sonnen and Silva were suspended for one year and nine months regardless, but Belfort was able to successfully avoid a suspension due to his serious TRT issue.

More about HGH Usage

Nevertheless, if the University of Michigan’s research does show definitive evidence that HGH helps heal ACL injuries faster, then the NBA and other sports leagues will be forced to examine the issue more closely.

In my next email to you, I’m going to discuss some athletes who’ve used growth hormone despite the bans in major professional sports organizations, and the major benefits that they’ve seen as a result. I’ll also cover the Peyton Manning Human Growth Hormone controversy and how this, combined with Cuban’s research project, will eventually be a good thing for the drug’s acceptance.

Yours in sport,George Spellwin

References
1. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Mar;94(3):809-16. doi: 10.1210/jc.2008-1538. Epub 2008 Dec 16.
2. http://www.garvan.org.au/news/news/first-scientific-study-showing-effects-of-growth-hormone-on-athletes

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