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Human Growth Hormone (HGH) - HGH Testing

Is HGH Testing a good idea for sports?

That's the revelation provided by Jason Grimsley , the former Arizona Diamondbacks reliever who, according to federal agents, admitted to using human growth hormone(HGH)and singled out players he accuses of using the banned performance-enhancing drug.

Major League Baseball doesn't test for HGH. The International Olympic Committee brags it has had an HGH test since before the 2004 Olympics, but that is semantics.

Yes, there is a blood test for HGH. But because antibodies necessary for the process are in such short supply, virtually no HGH testing is conducted. In addition, the test only detects HGH right after injection so it's impractical for in-competition testing. As a result, there never has been an HGH positive test that is accurate.

There have been just a couple hundred HGH tests, according to experts such as Christine Ayotte, head of the Montreal Olympic-testing lab, and Gary Wadler, a physician and author who has advised the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"We know growth hormone is a problem," Ayotte said. "No sport is testing currently for HGH, because (the test) is not available. If the test kit was available, it would only be effective for out-of-competition testing."

Ayotte said MLB is taking a bad rap for its lack of HGH testing: "We can't accuse them for not testing for growth hormone when nobody is."

WADA has contracted with a company to produce more antibodies for the test. "We've been promised kits for 16 months but haven't seen them," Ayotte said.

MLB has committed $450,000 over three years to Don Catlin's UCLA lab for the development of a urine test.

"Good luck," Ayotte said. "Our hopes for urine are really very limited." Wadler said there are such minute amounts of HGH in urine that "there's next to nothing to work with."

The best way to bust athletes may be through criminal investigations like the IRS launched against Grimsley and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative that produced allegations against the Giants' Barry Bonds , the Yankees' Jason Giambi and other athletes.

"Considering what happened to Grimsley, anyone that took steroids probably is having a few sleepless nights. It sounds like the FBI may be knocking on a few more doors in the near future," said 26-year sports agent Alan Meersand, who formerly represented such stars as Ken Caminiti, Lenny Dykstra, Manny Ramirez , Travis Fryman and Jesse Orosco.

Grimsley was pressured to reveal names, according to his agent, Joe Bick. The search warrant affidavit released this week included several names that were blacked out.

"The attorney called me and said, 'Here's the ultimatum they just gave us: Either cooperate or we're going to ruin your life,' " said Bick, who said Grimsley would be paid the remainder of his $825,000 salary after being released by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

Is Grimsley cooperating with authorities, and did he divulge names?
"There's a misperception out there," Bick said. "If you've got a guy giving you the information you want, the affidavit never would have shown up. Nobody would have known anything about it."

Bick also said Grimsley most likely has pitched his last game: "He's obviously upset and embarrassed and hates the fact that it's drawn this kind of attention to himself and his family. But he's stand-up about it and admitted his involvement was wrong."

In conclusion, we at THARC pledge that we will comply with all the laws as they pertain to sports enhancing drugs and no longer allow sports professionals to become patients.

But make no mistake, Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement is here to stay and be used by any ordinary citizen over the age of 30 who can prove there is a medical need based on a blood profile and physical exam.

Now all of us can enjoy the benefits of living, working and loving beyond our potential.

Updated: 7/21/2010