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.”

33 responses to “Out-of-country stem-cell therapy doesn’t violate league policy

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

  7. @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.

  8. 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!?

  9. @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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. @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.

  15. 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!!

  16. 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.

  17. @jpmelon

    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.

  18. 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.

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