HGH users could be loading up for population study

Getty Images

With the NFL and NFLPA finally agreeing to conduct a population study regarding the levels of HGH naturally occurring in pro football players, the players who use HGH fully realize that implications.

If they don’t, they’ll likely hear it from their non-HGH using teammates.

Per a league source, training camps currently are abuzz with players talking about the practical realities of a population study.  By loading up with HGH, players will skew the results higher, creating a potential HGH buffer zone for future players.

The amount that the level artificially increases depends on how many players already use HGH and, in turn, how many of them use it heavily in advance of the population study.

The only potential downside comes from the possibility that the sample of blood given for the population study will be split, with a portion of it maintained for later testing on a retroactive basis.  Still, we’re told the NFLPA “never” will agree to impose discipline on players due to the HGH in the blood given for the population study.

Thus, any player who is willing to risk a future suspension on the possibility that never doesn’t really mean never now falls in to the “smoke ’em if you got ’em” category.

32 responses to “HGH users could be loading up for population study

  1. Take population study on the general public. Ban all levels of HGH higher than the average Joe. Problem solved.

  2. How is it that the #1 sport where HGH is most prevalent still doesn’t test their players for it on a consistent basis? To call it ridiculous is a massive understatement.

  3. This is arguably worse than what they have at the moment. I don’t fully understand the science but it’s almost inevitable now that you will have a situation where players load up their bodies to just under the “NFL player ‘natural’ level” and then never have to worry about anything, that is until they retire and start suing the league and the union.

    To borrow an analogy from a fellow poster the other day, this is like establishing a guilty level for blood alcohol concentration by taking a population sample of everyone leaving a bar.

  4. Perhaps they will exclude outliers from the population study. In statistics, outliers are those samples that are significantly far from the mean, so anyone loading up would be eliminated when determining the norm.

  5. Take the median instead of the mode. Higher levels of HGH will skew the mode, but when you line em up, the player in the middle will probably be a good representation of “normal” or “natural”

  6. jgfromthenw – can’t do that. An active athete’s levels (igf-1, etc) are higher than the average Joe’s and a professional athlete’s will be higher than the weekend warrior’s. The only way to make a successful program is to baseline each athlete and weigh future fluctuations against it.

  7. Theres something about the words hgh and naturally next to each other in the same sentence that doesnt seem well – natural

  8. True, if the HGH users load up, they’d create a heck of skew. Eitherway, it’s not hard to figure out what the cutoff should be for doping based on where the majority of folks are.

    The big thing is that dopers run the danger of creating a very bimodal distribution. Then it’d be pretty easy to look at and say oh snap, the guys all the way on the right hump are doping while the guys on the left hump are “normal.”

  9. I have no problem whatsoever in football players taking HGH.

    Football is a collision sport..so much so that studies have shown for example that the hits a runningback takes are concurrent with a person who is constantly over and over again in an auto accident.

    These guys need cell tissue replacement for this particular sport.

    You see how these guys physically move after their careers are over and their in their 50’s & 60″s.

    This is the one sport where HGH shouldn’t be banned.

  10. @betterandbetterthan . . . If that’s the case there’s no need for a population study.

  11. The NFL can have some dummy team offer me a contract to help bring the average level down. I’m not doping and I think I could be a good placeholder! I can see it now walking up to midfield for the cointoss and the opponents looking at me like who is this guy? What, don’t act like you’ve never seen a ringer before!

  12. I would think in a population study, the players names should not be attached to the samples, as they are only getting an idea of usage in the NFL. I could see that, but knowing the names would be attached, just don’t see it for a population study. It should be mandatory that each player in each conference anonymously get tested. It would give the NFL the info on what teams have the highest usage, what areas, etc. and then once they have all the data, they go forward with testing randomly after all is agreed between the NFL/NFLPA. Sounds simple to me.

  13. I would love to line up every one of you making AP remarks!!! It shows how ignorant you are…. Love how fans of the most pathetic teams have to make comments… Prob a jags or jets fan too obvious to be a fudge packer

  14. A population study will only portray the fluctuation levels of HGH in specific type of players. Weight, height, metabolism, natural diurectics, and last but not least a NATURAL occuring growth hormone will be scaled different and have varied results based on body type. HGH testing should be tied into physical examinations, random testing for those who are outside the baseline norms, and post-game activities.

    I would love to see players, such as Charles Woodson, more outspoken about the accepted ethics of consuming enhancement drugs in the locker room. I wouldn’t mind seeing a lifetime suspension of any player using synthetics to gain an advantage. Cut em and find a younger, fresher set of legs to contribute to the 53.
    Love Jimi.

  15. Let me get this straight. They are going to conduct a population study regarding the levels of HGH naturally occurring in pro football players?

    Isn’t that conducting a population study regarding the naturally occurring levels of THC in pot smokers?

    Sounds ridiculous.

  16. All I really care about is that it’s a level playing field. It can either be used for recovery purposes everyone or it is banned for everyone.

    The most interesting part of completely removing HGH from the game is the fact that players who have always been clean should enjoy greater success in the league as the performance of so many others decline.

    Kind of like getting the relative benefits of steroids but for the honest guys.

  17. Enough already! We live in a world where Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil and High Fructose Corn Syrup are acceptable yet HGH is bad? Put it in the food supply already or make it readily available in health food store.

  18. What do you mean could be ? Of course they’re loading up.

    And if they had that much higher a level of hgh to begin with why don’t they heal faster from typical injuries than anyone else ?

    This whole “population study” is nothing but a crock to enable hgh use.

  19. The problem with life time bans is that the severe penalty require that you write a crazy amount of exceptions in the rule.

    Lets say a player with bad hay fever does an unproved use of Nasonex(really bad hay fever is can lead you to desperate unthinking measures.)

    Now its fine to say he deserves his 8 game suspension or whatever for that. But its totally unreasonable to give a life time ban because a player used the wrong nasal spray.

    So you end up with a really convoluted rule.
    The current punishment by steps is a better option. They just need to start testing for HGH.

  20. Half these guys can’t spell their names,now all of
    a sudden they are going to become chemists.

    Ain’t happening.

  21. There are many in the medical community who believe that hgh and testosterone therapy are not at all harmfully when properly used. Rather than taking the “drugs are bad” approach, the nfl should do a real medical study on PED’s. Stop the witch hunt and start looking at this a little more scientifically.

  22. If the players or anyone else thinks they can ‘load up’ their hgh dose and create a falsely elevated baseline, they are incorrect. Unless EVERY NFL player elevates their level by an equal amount, the outliers who’ve overloaded will be treated as aberrations and removed from the statistical analysis. The only thing having a higher HGH level will do is effectively identify those players that use HGH.

  23. Hi Mike,
    I bet you’re right and some guys are thinking along those lines but it doesn’t really work that way. The study of NFL players won’t just compute an average level of HGH (that would be skewed if some folks started juicing even more), it will reveal the distribution of levels across the NFL player population. For the most part, this can be described as a normal distribution (a bell curve) with an average and some variance but this won’t fit the data perfectly precisely because some guys are artificially enhancing their HGH levels. So what the team will almost certainly do is fit the data with two bell curves — the main one that describes the natural HGH levels on NFL players — and a second one that describes the levels in those who are cheating. If guys decide to increase HGH levels, they’ll only make it easier to catch them.

  24. the NFLPA’s claim that football players might have higher natural HGH levels than other strength atheletes is absurd; when averages levels are returned higher than WADA acceptable levels the entire sport will be smeared as druggies and then the union will be forced to accept regular HGH (and other PEDs) blood testing

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.