Since a reliable test aimed at detecting the presence of Human Growth Hormone in the human systemhas not been developed, the NFL enforces its prohibition against use of the substance only via direct or circumstantial proof of possession.
Now, a new investigation regarding a Canadian doctor linked to multiple U.S. athletes could prompt an investigation into whether certain NFL athletes acquired HGH.
There’s no evidence at this point of any athletes using anything improper. However, according to the New York Times, Dr. Anthony Galea was found with HGH and Actovegin, at the U.S.-Canada border in September 2009. Galea currently is being investigated by Canadian and U.S. authorities.
Per the Times, Galea has “developed a reputation among elite athletes for accelerating recovery after surgery or for helping them avoid surgery altogether.”
That said, Galea claims he never has treated professional athletes with HGH.
“All these athletes come see me in Canada cause I fix them, and I think
people just assume that I’m giving them stuff,” Galea told the Times. “They don’t
have to come to me to get H.G.H. and steroids. You can walk into your
local gym in New York and get H.G.H.”
Galea’s patients include Broncos quarterback Chris Simms and Raiders receiver Javon Walker. Also, unnamed NFL players take “red-eye flights on Monday nights for treatment on Tuesdays,” ostensibly to utilize Galea’s platelet-rich plasma technology.
In the offseason, word emerged that Walker had knee surgery without the team’s knowledge or involvement. Based on the Times report, it appears that Walker underwent a cartilage-replacement procedure on his knee in Jerusalem.
As in Israel. Because the procedure hasn’t been approved yet for use in the United States.
“He’s a person who just wants to help and heal,” Walker said of Dr. Galea. “And the world is going to soon know about him.”
Walker is right, but not in the way he thinks.
Especially if evidence emerges that another Galea patient with a feline nickname and tomcattish tendencies used anything that might not have complied with the rules of his sport.