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Kravitz: HGH testing can lead to safer football/Gonzo Opens Up About HGH (merge)


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Kravitz: HGH testing can lead to safer football

ANDERSON, Ind. -- Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez doesn't know exactly how pervasive human-growth hormone (HGH) is in the National Football League. But there are lots of times he looks around the league, looks across the line of scrimmage at a player with unnatural size and speed, and he's sure that player hasn't done it all with weightlifting and proper nutrition.

"How many guys are on it, that's hard to say," Gonzalez said. "It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it's too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don't add up; they don't look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they're in the NFL and they look totally different.

"I don't know how prevalent it is at this point, but to say that it's not being used, that's wrong."

It's why Gonzalez, speaking last weekend at Colts camp, became one of the first and most ardent on-field supporters of the portion of the new collective bargaining agreement to begin HGH testing by the start of this season.

He is tired of competing on an un-level playing field.

He is tired of seeing players who come by their athleticism through genetics and hard work be overwhelmed by guys who, he is quite sure, are using some kind of performance-enhancing drug.

He is tired of playing against athletes who are artificially boosted, whose strength, speed and size have made concussions an epidemic.

"If we can really get it out of the game, I think we'll see a slightly less violent game -- I hope," Gonzalez said. "I would hope we'd see fewer concussions over time."

Will the attempted eradication of HGH make a difference? Consider baseball: Since steroids have been scaled back, partially if not completely, home run numbers have dwindled dramatically and pitchers have become dominant. Any changes in football will be more subtle, but meaningful, nonetheless.

Like steroids, growth hormone is not evil in and of itself. We use steroids all the time to reduce swelling and address other medical problems. Growth hormone has legitimate medical uses. But when it's obtained illegally and used without a doctor's prescription, it gets dangerous, and the long-term effects are not yet clear.

Athletes use it as an anabolic agent to gain various benefits, most notably the ability to speed recovery from injury.

It has been banned by the NCAA, the International Olympic Committee, the NFL and other sports for years, but it wasn't until 2004 that scientists developed a decent test to accurately detect the drugs. Those tests haven't rounded up many users; the detection window is only 24 to 48 hours. But it's fair to assume the threat of random testing will act as something of a deterrent.

"To think it (HGH) isn't out there is really ignorant when you consider what can be gained by it with very little risk of getting caught," Gonzalez said.

"Before testing, the only way you got caught was if you were arrested with it or ended up on a supplier list."

He added, "If I could give someone on Wall Street a pill that gives them all the intelligence they need to beat the market -- a little bit like (the movie) 'Limitless' -- and it was illegal but there was no fear of getting caught, I can promise you there would be people lined up around the block for that pill."

If you were Gonzalez, and you had played just three games in two years because of injuries, and your team president publicly called you "a slow healer," wouldn't there be ample incentive to go the growth-hormone route?

Gonzalez said he has never been approached by anybody affiliated with the Colts, but people in his life have suggested he use HGH to help him in what he calls "a system that rewards fast healers."

"They say, 'Hey, I don't know why you're not using it; you won't get caught,' " he said. "But not getting caught is not the reason to do something."

Give the NFL and the players union enormous credit on this. There's never been a great hue and cry from fans about "the HGH problem."

Most fans don't know the first thing about it or how pervasive it might be. But it's out there, and it's an undeniable issue inside the game that needed to be addressed. CBSsports.com's Mike Freeman wrote Monday that players have told him 10 percent to 20 percent of guys are using growth hormone, and I've heard the same numbers from sources.

Applaud the league for making this a priority in the new CBA. Applaud the union for resisting the temptation to hide behind privacy concerns.

Here's how the testing will work:

During the preseason, there will be a single test, although whether that will involve all the players or just a sample hasn't been determined.

Then, during the season, there will be random tests -- just like steroid tests -- that will be done on random players, some of those tests coming on game days. It will be a computer-generated draw, so while one lucky player might have just one more test all season, another might have 10 or more.

The testing also will be done in the offseason, as often as six times for a player.

"The key is to maintain that constant threat that you will be tested," said Adolpho Birch, NFL vice president of labor and law policy.

The other key is accuracy. Birch said the NFL will follow the same testing protocol as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

"It's always possible we will have a false negative," Birch said. "But there will never be an issue of a false positive."

Players caught with growth hormone will be treated the same way as for steroids. A first offense will mean a four-game suspension.

This won't make growth hormone or other performance enhancers disappear, but it's a really strong start in addressing a growing problem.

"It's a huge step for our league, and I know talking to other guys (in the Colts' locker room), they're in favor of it, too," Gonzalez said.

"A lot of the rules in the new CBA are safety-oriented, and this is as important, or more important, than anything else."

My link

The thing with HGH is the culture of the NFL encourages players to use it. The teams do not come out and say do it, but the pressure that these players are under to heal and get back faster is enormous. If you do not get back fast they will just replace and not care what happens to you. The Colts did not care about Gonzo. They just replaced him with Collie and Polian called Gonzo a slow healer. The pressure Gonzo felt is probably the same pressure all injured players feel except for maybe guys like Manning or Brady.

I agree with the premise that more stringent HGH testing will help make the game safer. You look at these guys today and it is just insane how big, strong, and fast they are. I wish the test was even stronger so every player was tested, but at a random point in the season so they do not know when the test would happen.

It is funny how football has stayed clean through the whole HGH/steroid scandals that have rocked cycling and baseball. It is probably just the violence inherit in the game that makes fans look the other way.

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I can not believe he would use HGH. If so I would be greatly disappointed.

I think read the link wrong. He said: "“They say, ‘Hey, I don’t know why you’re not using it; you won’t get caught,’” he said. “But not getting caught is not the reason to do something.”"

Meaning that he doesn't use it even though he knows many who do.

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Makes you want to go look up all of those he played with in college who are now in the NFL. :hmm:

There was a kid who went to school with my younger brother. When he graduated HS he was 6'0 probably 165lbs soaking wet. Last year he was on the practice squad of an NFL team as a 6'0 315lb DT, so somehow he put on about 150lbs and is still at less than 20% body fat.

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I don't know a lot about this drug, but I'm wondering if it clears out of the system after a certain amount of time the way most drugs do, or is it permanently detectable?

Say if it is no longer being able to show up under a random drug test if you use it four days prior?

I am seeing testing as a good thing, I'm just wondering how easy it would be to get around the test.

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I don't know a lot about this drug, but I'm wondering if it clears out of the system after a certain amount of time the way most drugs do, or is it permanently detectable?

Say if it is no longer being able to show up under a random drug test if you use it four days prior?

I am seeing testing as a good thing, I'm just wondering how easy it would be to get around the test.

Colts, to answer your question, HGH is a drug like steroids that many sports players have got around for years. HGH, Human Growth Hormone, is a stimulant that speeds up cell recovery and allows us to push our body harder. If we as humans want to see increased gains, then we ingest a little HGH and the results are as follows: Instead of a 24-48 hour wait on muscle recovery from a hard workout, we're looking at twice at a day with that same intensity with only a nap and protein in between.

It is illegal and has been illegal in the NCAA since the 1970's. It is UNDETECTABLE via urine analysis and only can be found via blood samples. Sports players continueously and habitually abuse this drug through injuries/ lifting. It makes me sick but it is the truth... we didn't just get, "Bigger, Faster, Strong", via evolution in the past 30 years. It is called steroids + hgh. It does clear out of your system after a certain amount of time, ala many other drugs (THC). HGH is a wondeful drug when used for hormone deficiency or tumor removal, however, it is easily accesible via the internet or other countries (I took a trip to San Juan a few years ago and almost every other foreign "GNC-type" store sells not only steroids but HGH but the bucketload.

Makes me angry that "most" who get ahead are abusing this substance while honest atheletes like myself get left behind and forced to chase. Just the nature of the game! (Buddy of mine invested in both roids + HGH in highschool... Won't name names, needless to say he was a top 10 pick a few drafts ago. Now he is on the border of being cut from his team just a few years later. You can artificially make yourself look better, run faster, lift harder... but you cannot teach passion and work ethic. He lacks both.)

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You can artificially make yourself look better, run faster, lift harder... but you cannot teach passion and work ethic.

I'm a huge baseball fan and have seen this ^ played out many times. Some guys without warning track power in the after, injury prone, decreased throwing velocity, etc. Simply put, if a pretty fair number of NFL players aren't busted for HGH then there's something wrong with the testing. It's going to happen. As with baseball, it will be the court of public opinion that matters most when viewing accomplishments. With some baseball players there was an immediate, noticeable drop-off...while it was a more cumulative thing with others.

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Colts, to answer your question, HGH is a drug like steroids that many sports players have got around for years. HGH, Human Growth Hormone, is a stimulant that speeds up cell recovery and allows us to push our body harder. If we as humans want to see increased gains, then we ingest a little HGH and the results are as follows: Instead of a 24-48 hour wait on muscle recovery from a hard workout, we're looking at twice at a day with that same intensity with only a nap and protein in between.

It is illegal and has been illegal in the NCAA since the 1970's. It is UNDETECTABLE via urine analysis and only can be found via blood samples. Sports players continueously and habitually abuse this drug through injuries/ lifting. It makes me sick but it is the truth... we didn't just get, "Bigger, Faster, Strong", via evolution in the past 30 years. It is called steroids + hgh. It does clear out of your system after a certain amount of time, ala many other drugs (THC). HGH is a wondeful drug when used for hormone deficiency or tumor removal, however, it is easily accesible via the internet or other countries (I took a trip to San Juan a few years ago and almost every other foreign "GNC-type" store sells not only steroids but HGH but the bucketload.

Makes me angry that "most" who get ahead are abusing this substance while honest atheletes like myself get left behind and forced to chase. Just the nature of the game! (Buddy of mine invested in both roids + HGH in highschool... Won't name names, needless to say he was a top 10 pick a few drafts ago. Now he is on the border of being cut from his team just a few years later. You can artificially make yourself look better, run faster, lift harder... but you cannot teach passion and work ethic. He lacks both.)

ive been working out for two years after being a coach potato for 18 and let me say this there is nothing more satisfying then seeing results and knowing you did this on your own with no help

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