The League

Dr. Mark Adickes
Orthopedic surgeon, former Redskin

Dr. Mark Adickes

Former Redskins' offensive lineman turned Harvard- trained orthopedic surgeon

Time to reel in HGH


The NFL, in order to curb performance enhancing drug use, has had a random testing and progressive punishment policy in place for 25 years. Although some players still try to circumvent the system, the NFL's approach is working well. I agree with the severity of punishment currently used where first time offenders get 4 weeks without pay and for the second and third offense bans of one year and expulsion from the league result. The goal of testing is to create a level playing field for all but more importantly to protect players from the need to use PEDs in order to keep or obtain a job. I think that the system in place accomplishes this goal with one exception and that is human growth hormone. Either a urine test needs to be developed to detect growth hormone or NFL players need to be subjected to blood testing to eliminate the almost certain widespread use in the league today.

Santana Moss recently was tied to Dr. Anthony Galea who is a big proponent of growth hormone use. Although no test can now be done to prove that Moss used anything, the Redskins or Roger Goodell could still suspend him for conduct detrimental to the league. The way things stand now, human growth hormone is the one PED that many players feel the need to use in order to remain competitive. I'm sure a plan is in the works to rectify this situation.

Brian Cushing was finally suspended for his September positive test of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This substance is taken by anabolic steroid users who want to jump start their native testosterone production after completing a cycle of steroids. Cushing took a lie detector test and stated repeatedly in his press conference the he never "injected or ingested" HCG.The problem is that HCG is readily available in transdermal form and a gel can be rubbed on the skin delivering the drug into the system. Cushing's suspension will cost him a few hundred thousand dollars and hurt his team's performance early in a season that promises to deliver a playoff berth to the franchise for the first time. With a one year suspension waiting for him I doubt he will ever use anabolic steroids or HCG moving forward.

NFL players, thanks to a solid PED policy, no longer feel that anabolic steroid use is a requirement of participation...the time has come to relegate human growth hormone to the same status.

By Dr. Mark Adickes  |  May 28, 2010; 12:00 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , NFL Rules , Roger Goodell , Steroids Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Is HGH use in moderation a bad thing? I haven't heard any negatives regarding its use. It seems to me that it has many benefits regarding recovery from injury?

Posted by: papple | May 28, 2010 1:55 PM

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