In the wake of the Dr. Andrew Galea criminal investigation, which has spawned a flurry of “he apparently gives HGH to patients and he treated Tiger Woods so maybe he gave Tiger Woods HGH even there’s no evidence that Tiger Woods used HGH but wow wouldn’t it be something if Tiger Woods used HGH?” reports, the subject of HGH use in the NFL has moved back toward the middle-rear burner.
Three years ago, Redskins offensive tackle Jon Jansen estimated that 15-20 percent of all players use HGH. But then, once his words caused people at the league office to produce bricks from an orifice that typically doesn’t produce bricks, Jansen backed off.
Now, Bucs fullback Earnest Graham has seen Jansen’s 15-20 percent, and Graham has raised it. To 30 percent.
In an interview with WQYK-AM in Tampa (via JoeBucsFan.com), Graham pegged the current level of HGH usage at nearly one in three.
“They don’t have a [drug] test for [HGH],” Graham said. “It wouldn’t shock me if a ton . . . I’d say a lot of NFL players are doing it. I would
say, I’ve heard a lot of people, even in Hollywood the average person
is [using] HGH. It’s supposed to be this great thing. Especially in a
sport like football.
“You know, I would assume that a lot of guys have
access to it and are using it. I would assume so. I wouldn’t doubt it,
man, with what’s at stake. Especially in this game, not having
guaranteed contracts you know with so much riding on your performance,
a game that tears your body down like that, I would assume that a lot
of people are making that decision to use HGH. Especially if there’s
not a test for it. Because at some point you feel like you’re not
cheating, you’re not doing anything wrong. I would say definitely. I
would not be shocked. . . .
“Any sport, guys come across injuries and need to get back fast and come
back stronger than they were before. I wouldn’t be shocked. I don’t
know that I’d really make a big deal about it if I heard it. It’s kind
of understood for me at this point. . . .
“I don’t think a guy would think it’s cheating. No. I mean they know it
[is cheating]. But I don’t think it registers. . . . I would say 30 percent
[are using HGH].”
We’re not surprised. Without a test for HGH, many guys will have no qualms about using it. And plenty of players easily can rationalize using HGH by explaining that they weren’t using it to enhance their performance, but to recover from an injury so that they can get back on the field.
Still, it’s a banned substance and it’s wrong to use it. Unfortunately, doing the right thing doesn’t always pay the mortgage on a house that has been built by the promise of a decade of football money.