Skip to content

Out-of-country stem-cell therapy doesn’t violate league policy


Several of you have asked an important question in response to the news that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and free-agent receiver Terrell Owens recently have received stem-cell therapy in other countries.

Given that these procedures currently aren’t legal in the nation in which the National Football League plays its games, does the pursuit of these procedures in other countries constitute a violation of the league’s banned substances policies?

They don’t, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.

Aiello tells PFT via e-mail that “[t]he procedure in and of itself is not prohibited under the steroids policy.”

Clearly implied in this response is that the procedure becomes prohibited if banned substances are used as part of the procedure.  And that goes without saying.  But with the league constantly revising the list of things players can and can’t do, don’t be surprised if non-U.S.-approved stem-cell therapy lands on the roster of NFL “thou shalt nots.”

Permalink 33 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Indianapolis Colts, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
33 Responses to “Out-of-country stem-cell therapy doesn’t violate league policy”
  1. nesuperfan says: Sep 20, 2011 9:33 AM

    But Tim Tebow still does not approve. 🙂

  2. rdrs68 says: Sep 20, 2011 9:43 AM

    oh but little king roger will make it “his”policy-just another opportunity for the control freak to assert power.

  3. mvp43 says: Sep 20, 2011 9:50 AM

    That’s surprising considering there’s no real history of what the long term affects will be. If Manning or TO start having other health issues that can be traced back to the stem cell procedure, or even if it can’t be…………….that can be the basis for increased health acre costs etc. The NFL would be wise to rule against any out of country treatment.

  4. jw731 says: Sep 20, 2011 9:55 AM

    Of course they don’t……Look at Jerry Jones’s beef jerky type face…..

  5. trollhammer20 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:05 AM

    I bet, though, that if a player in one of the 16 states (and D.C.) that has legal medical marijuana were to acquire and use a legal prescription, they’d be suspended instantly.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:08 AM

    Apparently it didn’t work, so, no harm, no foul.

  7. zimaman says: Sep 20, 2011 10:08 AM

    lets not be two faced guys

    when Rodney Harrison got his knee taken out on a cheap shot ending his season the following winter he got busted for getting HGH from Canada to speed recovery – let me be clear – he was wrong

    BUT if he left the country he would have been right?

    all you haters out there crucified Rodney so let me consistent

    a cheater is a cheater right?

    now watch all the same a-holes will give this comment a thumbs down

    figures – like i give a scheott

  8. richm2256 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:13 AM

    If you’re turning to out-of-country stem cell treatment, your injury is a little more serious than you’re letting on.

    Just sayin’

    Sadly, I honestly think we’ve seen the last of Peyton Manning. This is his third time around on a very serious injury, one which could have catastrophic impact on his life, let alone his health, if it ends badly.

    To come back to WHAT, a team that went 10-6 last year WITH Manning and has only gotten WORSE?

    Peyton already has his ring (singular), he has whatever records Tom Brady hasn’t broken yet, and he has cemented his legacy (great quarterback, chokes in the playoffs).

    Seriously though, all rivalries aside, Manning was great, but there is too much risk against too little reward for him to lace up again, at his age.

    Expect a huge announcement after the Super Bowl…..

    and a mass exodus off the Colts bandwagon.

  9. robigd says: Sep 20, 2011 10:16 AM

    This whole story sheds light on how behind the world the US is in stem-cell research. It is quite sad actually.

  10. jerseyshoregiant says: Sep 20, 2011 10:21 AM

    @trollhammer20 according to the Federal Government there is no such thing as a Legal Medical Marijuana, so yes I am sure they would still be suspended.

  11. tatum064 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:28 AM

    Of course it doesnt violate league policy. It’s out of the country. They actually think they have a policy over a player’s conditioning if they arent even signed? wtf!?

  12. nflfollower says: Sep 20, 2011 10:28 AM

    It is health care….. The NFL shouldn’t be allowed to deny players access to particular avenues of health care. That being said, Roger probably will.

  13. tampajoey says: Sep 20, 2011 10:32 AM

    What’s more important? Winning football games or chopping up a few babies?

    Babies come and go but football is forever.

  14. whoisthatteam says: Sep 20, 2011 10:34 AM

    @trollhammer20 according to the Federal Government there is no such thing as a Legal Medical Marijuana, so yes I am sure they would still be suspended.

    According to the federal government stem cells are also illegal for some weird reason… You do see the comparison here?

  15. dohpey28 says: Sep 20, 2011 10:39 AM

    Why would it land on the banned list? Yes, some doctors do use HGH in the procedures to help hasten the process, but it is not required. I don’t see how this is any different then say Tommy John surgery, where they take something from one part of your body to replace the damaged one. Get out of the dark ages, and step into the light of modern science and surgery.

  16. zaggs says: Sep 20, 2011 10:41 AM

    Cannot it not be used as blood doping? Seems the 2 might be similar.

  17. 3octaveFart says: Sep 20, 2011 11:14 AM

    Because the league never even considered addressing “Out-of-country stem-cell therapy”?

  18. bturner032002 says: Sep 20, 2011 11:50 AM

    yeap medical mary jane only deals with state laws. even though you have a card and have it legally, you can still be raided and arrested by federal agents.

  19. tatatoothy says: Sep 20, 2011 11:51 AM

    T.O. should go to the place Peter Griffin went to after he had his McStroke.

  20. angrycorgi says: Sep 20, 2011 11:55 AM

    Peyton’s done with…writing’s on the wall, gentlemen.

  21. joetoronto says: Sep 20, 2011 11:55 AM

    Soon, you’ll have to leave your country to get a natural cure for cancer, they’re banning all of them, one by one.

    Cancer isn’t the killer, chemotherapy and radiation are.

  22. favreforever says: Sep 20, 2011 12:21 PM

    Doctor Frankenstein has a new sign up at the castle.

    “Official Physician To The NFL”.

  23. Topher says: Sep 20, 2011 12:27 PM

    I’d like to think the NFL would stay out of a political/ethical debate.

  24. mjkelly77 says: Sep 20, 2011 12:58 PM

    Sure, if it’s Peyton Manning, then it’s OK. If it was Michael Vick, he’d be banned for life.

  25. hsatpft says: Sep 20, 2011 1:08 PM

    A ban is irrelevant if there is no test. A urine test is 1 thing, a biopsy is another if the NFL is going to test every player that gets seriously injured. I don’t know enough about the procedure myself but there may not be a simple test for it. This is the leading edge of medical science. (And maybe why it’s being done out of the country – not FDA approved yet)

  26. tebowblows says: Sep 20, 2011 1:32 PM

    Strictly speaking, it’s not that these procedures are illegal in the United States. Instead, they are just not yet approved because of a lack of clinical trials. These trials have been conducted in other countries, and have shown positive results. Therefore, treatment is being conducted.

    What is illegal here is publicly funded stem cell research. It’s perfectly legal to do in the private sector, but much of the private sector prefers to use the quick and dirty method of using fetal material rather than stem cells because it’s cheaper. You can see these results when looking at the common ingredients injected into your children in their vaccines.

    However, we are falling further and further behind Western Europe, Canada, and Asia in general research because of such bans and lack of federal funding.

  27. bozosforall says: Sep 20, 2011 1:45 PM

    and richm is still a phag.

  28. normdogg says: Sep 20, 2011 1:58 PM

    @tebowblows (nice name BTW) You’re the only person here who seems to know what they’re talking about, and your absolutely correct.

    The ban on stem cell research has nothing to do with its safety or effectiveness. Nor is it considered by any to be even close to a “performance enhancing drug/procedure.” Its simply a case of our religious friends holding back scientific progress because of their fairy tale beliefs.

  29. rajbais says: Sep 20, 2011 3:00 PM

    Yeah, but the procedure violates our government’s policy because of lobbies pertaining to this don’t exist or outside of it preventing this to happen!!

  30. jpmelon says: Sep 20, 2011 3:19 PM

    Stem-cell reserach doesn’t make you perform better…..the reason it hasn’t passed US regulations is because it isn’t proven to work.

    I think it is logical that the NFL allow players to continue to try. They aren’t breaking the law and it is not the same thing as HGH or steroids.

  31. steelbucs86 says: Sep 20, 2011 3:51 PM

    Oh but I’m sure it won’t be banned until Golden boy is free, clear & distanced from any ramifications.

  32. tebowblows says: Sep 21, 2011 1:33 AM


    Stem-cell research has been proven to work, but needs further development. It hasn’t passed US regulation, because the public sector (e.g. state universities) cannot perform clinical tests using them. That’s the long and short of it.


    I agree completely.

  33. jasoncnz says: Sep 21, 2011 3:00 AM

    OH MY GOD! Can you imagine if Peyten were to take HGH and his head actually got BIGGER! He would need a neck brace just to hold it up.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!