Report: HGH use increasing

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The one we continue to know about the honor system is that the honor system doesn’t work.

The NFL bans HGH use.  The NFL still has no test in place to determine whether players are complying with this rule.  Not surprisingly, players still ignore the rule.

Dan Patrick mentions from time to time that a starting NFL quarterback privately told Patrick within the past two or three years that 60 percent of the league uses HGH.  Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that HGH use is “rampant.”

It’s like clockwork nowadays,” an unnamed NFC starter told Dunne.  “Not tested and it’s easy to get.  Nowadays, dude?  In 2013?  [Expletive] yeah.  I’m just being real.”

The unnamed player estimates that 10-15 players per team use the substance, which puts the percentage in the range of 18-28.

The NFL and NFLPA agreed in 2011 that blood testing for HGH will be implemented.  Two full football seasons later, blood testing for HGH has not yet commenced, due to a lingering impasse regarding the manner in which testing will happen.

Periodically, members of Congress huff and puff regarding the perception that the NFLPA is dragging its feet.  But the NFL is, too.  Indirectly.  Subtly.

With a battalion of high-priced lawyers at the league’s disposal, the failure of the NFL to pursue a lawsuit or a grievance or some other device to compel the players to honor their agreement suggests that the NFL doesn’t really want to push the issue.  On one hand, the league likely doesn’t want to try to force its players to have their skin pierced with a needle and blood drawn.  On the other hand, the league possibly isn’t interested in having those predictions of rampant HGH use come to fruition — or in having the players who use HGH quit cold turkey and suddenly become unable to return from injuries.

So players can continue to use it, and there’s no way to determine it based on the contents of their blood.  (If they admit to using HGH or otherwise are caught buying or possessing it, the NFL can take action.)  But if HGH use really is rampant, won’t a former player eventually shed the cloak of anonymity and pen a Jose Canseco-style book, blowing the whistle on the issue?

Maybe not.  The book likely wouldn’t sell.  After all, most fans assume NFL players are using something to get that big, to stay that big, and to return so quickly from the injuries that happen when large bodies collide.

69 responses to “Report: HGH use increasing

  1. HGH helps get the star players and the merchandise leaders back on the field… I

    f it weren’t for HGH, AP would have never come back so soon… NFL owners want insurance to know that their assets can be repaired.

    Let them use it, its a physical game, rather see AP and RG3 on the field rather than the injury table.

  2. To be honest, I have no problem with it being used to return from injuries.

  3. Do fans really want the injury report before each Sunday to start growing because guys can’t get on the field with increased HGH testing? I don’t think they do, nor does the NFL.

  4. If this isn’t a plea for traffic during a slow time in football, I don’t know what is. I’m sure sone players use hgh, but how does this “source” know how many players on each team are using? Seems like this source is guessing more than knowing.

  5. you mean kind of like when steroids werent really tested for? rampant like that? even though some people want us to believe that only a couple teams were using, logic tells me otherwise.
    they wont/dont want to know until they HAVE TO. just like with steroids and head trauma. not enough people are making enough noise about it and it’s not a PR nightmare…..yet….

  6. No surprise here. It’s due to one player and has been increasing ever since Brian Orakpo entered the league.

    Good lord my Redskins are awful.

  7. And Adrian Peterson having one of the quickest recoveries from a torn ACL and an MVP season is seen as a coincidence…

  8. Wow. I’m losing faith in the NFL. Goodell ruins it with horrible rule changes, and now players are juicing up or taking variety of drugs to get an edge over other players.

  9. Pro football is my movie theatre and I’m not interested in the testing. Don’t think the NFL is either…

  10. The leagues are light years behind the players. in the 90’s it was horse steroids, then the MLB went through their decade of the ‘rub’ and now HGH. And if you look back even further players admitted to using coke as a stimulant.

    When you waive tens of millions of dollars around at a very select few, they will do anything for the cash, & stardom.

  11. These guys are mountains of muscle, and beat the hell out of each other for a living. If science can provide something that makes it easier for them to return from injury and heal their bodies, why not?

  12. Anyone think that Shanny, Snyder, and Dr Andrews don’t have Griffin plugged up to a non-stop HGH drip ???

  13. “Dan Patrick mentions from time to time that a starting NFL quarterback privately told Patrick”

    “It’s like clockwork nowadays,” an unnamed NFC starter told Dunne.”

    Not saying it isn’t somewhat true but man name names so this will be a story and not just another daily gossip page. For the life of me I will never understand how it is acceptable to say “source” in today’s media. “Sources” say my wife thinks I’m the sexiest man alive, but don’t you dare go against that report because after all… I have unnamed sources so it’s obviously true.

  14. The real question is, why should we care? Will testing make the game better? No. It will likely hurt the product on the field. I say we just ignore this one.

  15. Anyone who thinks HGH is some sort of “miracle drug” that athletes should be able to use is insane, uninformed or just plain stupid. No one under the age of 45 should get anywhere near it and only then to deal with debilitating injuries/illnesses. The damage it does to otherwise healthy, young individuals will be the next lawsuit craze in the NFL.

  16. Stop ok, just stop. Stop blaming the NFL for the PLAYERS use of an illegal substance. Where is the blame for the NFLPA, who is clearly stonewalling HGH testing?

    Here is why the NFL players refuse to cooperate: Once a player, or former players, start having adverse symptoms due to HGH use, they will sue the NFL ala concussions. They will cry and scream that “the NFL made me do it blah blah blah”.

    I blame the players themselves and the union that represents them. Where is the personal accountability these days? Will the sports media not hold someone accountable for their actions?

  17. This is almost identical behavior to that of MLB when their ratings were sky high and they stuck their heads in the sand about McGuirre, Sosa, Bonds, and ‘roids.

  18. HGH should be used for rehab purposes. it’ll be easier to monitor that way.

  19. how is hearsay from an unnamed, unverified person we don’t even know exists count as a journalistic “report”

  20. If it has no long term side effects I’m ok with it being used in controlled rehab situations but I def see lawsuits 20 years from now saying the league didn’t do enough to protect the players from the negative side effects of hgh. Either way I think the league is screwed here they start testing and put a lesser product out there or they ignore it and get sued

  21. The players and their sham union are to blame. They have been holding up a testing agreement with the league for years and Congress will be forced to step in. Years from now harmfull side effects from HGH use will occur in former players and they will sue the league. What else is new?

  22. In two or three years, just after a broken down Adrian Peterson retires (without a Lombardi), he will have someone write a tell all story about how he used hgh since middle school, and that’s the only reason he was ever even mediocre, and why he was able to come back so fast after surgery.

  23. It’s funny. Of course the public wants to hang some “moral” aspect onto this. We love to call it “performance enhancing.” Makes it sound dramatic, as if no one is REALLY that great an athlete.


    Bottom line is (whether you like it or not) these guys are naturally great athletes. THAT’S why they made it this far. Football destroys your body. Just the way it is. And HGH keeps you upright and on the field.

    And it’s great for rehabbing injuries. Isn’t that what the former team doctor for the Steelers said? He said he gave his non-football playing patients HGH because it was great for rebuilding tendons.

  24. Now that Steven Jackson is no longer on the Rams, I believe the NFL should start testing for HGH immediately.

  25. The problem will become that the players who are using HGH are going to sue the league for not telling them the dangers of using HGH even though they are making a conscience decision to use HGH.

    I want my game to be PED free. I want a level playing field. If that player has to take a little longer to come back from an injury, so be it. If there is going to be any use of any PED it needs to be under strict trainer oversight for the specific use of improving injury recovery. You can’t use it on your own. I wouldn’t be opposed to steroid or HGH use at all if this were the case. You can take painkillers from the trainer, why not use this as a form of league sanctioned therapy.

    All this does is promote the use of PED’s at the lower level of the sports. The NCAA prohibits this substance and so do high school associations. By turning a blind eye to the problem the league is complicit in promoting the use of illegal substances. The fact is that you need a prescription to use steroids. Do you need one for HGH? I don’t know but unless it is under the supervision of a doctor or your team trainer it should not be used. It is not within the spirit of the game.

  26. People whine and moan about cycling, but the reality is that it seems to have a problem because people actually get caught. Imagine if every HGH user in the NFL was publicly caught and banned for up to 2 years like in cycling. You wouldn’t have a league. Not to mention the impact on the lower leagues, where untrained individuals self administer these dangerous substances to make the big leagues.

  27. Of course use is on the rise… That stuff is amazing! Strengthens ligaments and tendons that otherwise are what they are… And once you detach or snap them, it’s usually not good news.

  28. Hope RGIII is voluntarily getting tested for HGH otherwise his healing so fast will always have an ugly HGH rumor cloud over it.

  29. Why do you think ray Lewis retired. Cause he was heavy in the HGH and he knows they will start testing soon.

  30. Ok, if it seems like I’m bitter about Adrian Petersen, consider how you’d feel if he did to your club what he does to mine. Did you watch him play against my Packers last year? He made our defense look pathetic. Anyway, you might notice I’m sort of obsessed with posting about him, but by accusing him of cheating deflects from the fact that my club has been unable to stop him.

  31. Any commenters who post single names such as JJ Watt, Suggs or Matthews are totally out of touch. If you think that HGH is the exception, as opposed to the rule, and that these players are “unfairly” getting an edge over others (thus your ill-advised comments) then I have some oceanfront property in West Virginia to sell you.

  32. If you can’t be tested, therefore, “caught cheating”, its essentially a non-story.

    The NFL doesn’t want the negative press, hence why there is no testing. The use has produced the baseball affect. Just as the long ball became fashionable, so has speed and crazy strength in the NFL. It has produced big plays, announcer buzz words of 40 times, and the newest craze of the combine-draft phenomenon. Too much money for the owners to let go of.

    Believe me, if they burned the Patriot championship year cheating tapes, we will never know who was truly juicing. Just watch the games for the entertainment it is, or go play Madden 13 if you want an alternate reality.

  33. HGH isn’t actually known or proven to have a positive affect on athletic performance. This is a key difference with anabolic steroids. HGH is known to magnify the effects of steroids, but taken alone, there is no proven advantage to athletic performance. Likely its affect is minimal.

    However, it is believed to speed up the recovery process. And don’t underestimate the power of the plaecebo effect. If players believe the HGH gives them an edge, it will actually give them an edge.

    I’m okay with HGH if it is prescribed by a doctor to treat an injury. HGH is a commonly used “drug” just for general medical practice and it has a large range of uses. Abuse by young men can lead to health problems, however, so the NFL should really test for it.

    The problem is that the NFL profits by their star players getting back on the field faster. But the NFL would be sued if it outright allowed the use of HGH for injury rehab, especially when we still don’t know all of the side effects.

  34. I think it’s pretty unfair that people say, “Let the players use HGH!” Why should honest players have to expose themselves to the health risks associated with HGH (like cancer and heart disease) in order to compete in the NFL?

    Not to mention the fact that if the players were smaller, there would probably be fewer and less severe injuries than there are now.

  35. If you want them to do superhuman things, more than a normal person can handle, then let them use what they need recover and be able to do it at a high level.

  36. If you want them to do superhuman things, more than a normal person can handle, then let them use what they need recover and be able to do it at a high level.

  37. Is anyone surprised by this? I would hope not. Around 1986, there was a big to do about 70 to 80 percent of the league believed to be on steroids. At the time, the average o-lineman was probably about 275 pounds. Now, the average o-lineman is probably around 320. Same deal with just about every position with the exception of quarterback, defensive back, and to some extent wide receiver. Does anyone really believe that while the league has rid itself of steroids, the size of most players has increased by about 15 to 20%? Impossible.

  38. Christian Ponder tried HGH to cure his noodle arm, but it didn’t work and he had to sit out of the playoff game against the Packers. Not that it mattered.

  39. No wonder the NFLPA is stalling and blocking the testing with these idiotic “arguments”.

  40. Not fair for the pot smokers and the adderral users. They cant take these recreational drugs but something as serious as HGH can be used w/o consequence. i will consider this next time i am working my butt off in the gym just to see an NFL player on TV putting my little muscles to shame. I just want to commend the players that are actually not using HGH and playing the game honestly. It takes guts to go out there knowing half of the guys on the other side are juicing.

  41. HGH’s main function is treating injuries. It has little value in new muscle growth. I don’t see the harm.

  42. The Case For HGH
    Clean players and a level playing field are the NFL
    ideal. But maybe the league’s priorities are out of
    whack. With reported injuries on the rise, it’s time to
    make a choice: do we want healthy players or a
    “pure” game?
    by Tom Farrey
    This is the lead in to an excellent article in ESPN the magazine from Sep 7, 2006, explaining hgh’s use to combat post concussion syndrome. The fact this article drew very little attention is disconcerting.

  43. There is no scientific proof that it develops muscles. There is, however, proof that it speeds up tissue homeostasis, which is a good thing! People who are pointing the finger at HGH as a steroid haven’t done the research. HGH in conjunction with an anabolic steroid is something else entirely.

  44. I think it’s great that 18-28 players per team take steroids, I think they all should. This is entertainment. The PR campaign against steroids is something I’ll never understand anyway. There are a lot of other substances that are a lot more harmful to our bodies that do not have such a smear campaign.

  45. HGH is perfectly legal with a prescription.

    HGH really only has value in recovery from injury. It is not proven to increase strength, dexterity, or stamina in a healthy person.

    It has very few, if any, proven negative side effects when used properly.

    Most substances used in injury recovery have as many if not more possible negative side effects as HGH.

    The only reason players buy it on the black market and use it without a doctor’s guidance is because the league forces them to by banning it. Athletes use doctors all the time, why would anyone think they wouldn’t use HGH under a doctor’s supervision if given the opportunity?

    As with most forms of prohibition, it is the league’s banning of the substance which has created the black market and thus exacerbated the problem.

  46. * I should clarify.

    It is not proven to increase strength, dexterity, or stamina in a healthy person, under the age of 40, whose body is already producing all of the HGH it can handle naturally.

  47. Professional sports athletes cannot go 12 seconds without thinking about the various forms of application of some/any chemical to help them compete/cheat/gain and edge/etc. When someone says ” I will consume X to enhance my position” they have declared that they are not able to compete, not capable on their own to produce based on their knowledge, skills and abilities.

    Bonds is dope

    Amstrong is dope

    Possibly MCGwire

    et al…………………………

  48. PurpleBlooded…look inside your own house. How does AP come back faster than anyone ever has from an ACL to have his BEST year as a pro. If you can speculate on Matthews based on nothing more than appearance and hearsay then you better drag AP and his record breaking season into question too.

  49. The NFL bans HGH use. The NFL still has no test in place to determine whether players are complying with this rule…

    [A] quarterback privately told Patrick within the past two or three years that 60 percent of the league uses HGH…
    60% of the league? No, 100% of the league uses HGH: it’s a chemical produced naturally within the human body. The issue is when players are doping their blood with injections of Human Growth Hormones or using supplements that boost the body’s natural production of HGH.

    I’m not taking a stance on the problem, just explaining why HGH use is not just cut and dry. Beta-Carotene, found in green vegetables, triggers increased production of HGH, as do squats at the gym. Calcium also triggers extra production of HGH; carbohydrates give the body extra energy to perform in athletic events; potassium prevents naurally occurring muscle cramps; and fluoride prevents naturally occurring tooth decay: should the league ban milk or bread or bananas or toothpaste? There are all kinds of chemicals we use in everyday life that give our bodies unnatural advantages:

    At what point do you say milk is legal, but protein shakes are not; or squats and broccoli are legal, but IGF-1 (the naturally-occurring chemical Ray Lewis used) is not?

    Again, not taking a stance, but this issue is more complex than it seems.

  50. As several have stated, HGH is more for healing tendons than adding bulk.

    Clay Matthews added lots of muscle in two years, not abnormal.

    Adrian Peterson had a record recovery from torn tendons in his knee

    1 of these seems suspicious.

  51. People here seem to be very confused. Growth Hormone contrary to it’s name, doesn’t produce great results in size or strength. The only benefit it really provides is loss of bodyfat and accelerated recovery. As a standalone for growth it’s pretty much useless.

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