HoopsHype Doping rumors

July 28, 2013 Updates

Porter Fischer, a former associate of Biogenesis head Tony Bosch, told The Associated Press on Friday that he fears releasing more names and involving more leagues would further complicate his life. “This whole fiasco with MLB has made me very, very wary about doing this with another agency,” Fischer said. “The way this whole thing has gone down with MLB makes me really, really apprehensive about starting another forest fire with somebody else. I mean, if you were me, would you go pick a fight with somebody else? I’d have NBA fans calling me names, I’d have a whole bunch of high-paid athletes calling me this-that, I’d have other goons at my door.” Juneau Empire

July 25, 2013 Updates

The man who turned the Biogenesis clinic from a quiet investigation in Miami into a national scandal says there are at least a dozen more athletes whose names haven't been exposed and that they come from across the sports world. Porter Fischer, the former Biogenesis of Miami clinic employee who turned boxes of documents over to the Miami New Times last year, declined to name the athletes. But in his first television interview, Fischer told "Outside the Lines" that numerous sports had at least one athlete who received performance- enhancing drugs from clinic founder Tony Bosch. ESPN.com

July 23, 2013 Updates

With Major League Baseball suspending Brewers slugger Ryan Braun for violating the sport's drug policy -- and with more suspensions expected to emerge from the Biogenesis case in South Florida -- the NBA's efforts to implement testing for human-growth hormone (HGH) in time for next season is paramount among the off-court business that will be conducted between now and the '13-'14 tipoff. "We hope so," Stern said last Thursday in Las Vegas, when asked if HGH testing protocols could be negotiated with the National Basketball Players Association in time to be implemented for next season. Stern also said the process was "hamstrung" by the NBPA's lack of a permanent executive director in the wake of Billy Hunter's ouster over findings that he failed to properly manage conflicts of interest during his tenure. "It's more difficult to make decisions," Stern said of the NBPA's lack of permanent leadership. CBSSports.com

But the union's interim executive director, Ron Klempner, told CBSSports.com on Tuesday that the search for Hunter's successor was not impeding discussions on HGH testing at all. "We're certainly capable of making decisions and doing whatever business needs to be done," Klempner said. "We've been doing that without any interruption and we're going to continue to do that." CBSSports.com

July 18, 2013 Updates
March 9, 2013 Updates
March 8, 2013 Updates

First, let's examine why this is happening now. The answer is because the lack of an HGH test has finally become embarrassing to the league and union. HGH is a substance with undeniable potential to help NBA players. It's widely discussed and available from any number of doctors and clinics. And Olympians have been tested for it since 2004. And yet the powers that be in the major North American leagues clung to the theory that the test was not reliable. That argument was always weak. The chief science officer at the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Larry Bowers, testified before Congress recently that HGH tests are so good that “the chances of an athlete who has not used synthetic growth hormone testing positive are comparable to the chance of that same athlete being struck by lightning during his or her lifetime.” He added that those questioning the tests were “lawyers, not scientists.” ESPN.com

February 17, 2013 Updates

Stern reiterated that he expects a testing protocol to be in place for human-growth hormone in time for next season. He said the adoption of biological passports -- electronic records to track biological markers related to doping -- would be "a subject for discussion with the players' association. ... Our players have been front and center on this. They want to be, and be perceived, as playing in a drug-free sport." CBSSports.com

February 14, 2013 Updates
January 18, 2013 Updates

Rod Benson: The only time basketball players use the word “steroids” is when making fun of some dude on their team who is just big for no reason. My current teammate, Ira Clark, is pretty jacked, so it’s funny to say things like “lay off the juice, homie!” But I’ve never meant it. My reason is that I have literally never seen PEDs, seen another guy doing them, or heard of anyone doing anything like that in my entire life. Granted, I’m not in the NBA, but I’m still a part of the hoop fraternity, and it’s never come up. I’ve even recently asked numerous other players if they suspect anyone of having used PEDs, and they all say no. I may get a “well that MF-er Dwight is pretty damn big,” but even that is half-hearted. I’d say that at least guarantees that it’s not a steroid culture like people have claimed baseball to be during the home run record chase. HoopsHype

Rod Benson: Further, for the most part you can’t get away with it. Us basketball players are tested and the process sucks. I’ve had tests in both the D-League, which uses the same method as the NBA, and overseas. They all suck. You never quite get used to walking directly off the floor after a game and being ushered into a random bathroom. You (I) almost never have the urge to urinate, and you find yourself standing there stark naked for 25 minutes while some dude stares directly at your genitals while trying to make small talk about how he gave Tim Duncan a test last week. I personally wouldn’t know how to cheat in that situation. The possibility of a whizzonator is completely out the window. HoopsHype

Rod Benson: In certain countries, they give you blood tests, too. And guess what? They’re not just checking for PEDs, they’re checking for HIV’s, player. Every August overseas is a free, nerve-racking, HIV test that you never get the results for. You just get to keep playing if you don’t have it. What’s funny is that in all my years of playing, I’ve only ever heard of guys getting sent home for HIV and THC, but never PED. HoopsHype

Rod Benson: In basketball, the most athletic guys are sometimes the guys you never want to see on the floor when the game counts. The biggest guys are the most awkward, and generally end up in foul trouble. Sure, the appeal to be more athletic exists for all basketball players. But from my experience, some guys don’t even want to lift that hard or change their bodies much, because their games are so fine-tuned. There are a wide range of body types and levels of athleticism in the league, and if a guy is lacking something, he will be more likely to say “that’s not my game,” then he will be to take a PED. Just look at KD. Skinny. Dynamic. Awesome. Proud. Never going to try to body anyone, no matter how many times Skip Bayless says that’s the only thing lacking from his game. I know that there are many types of PEDs that can aid in anything ranging from injury rehab, to overall athleticism. So in theory, players could take something just to recover from a microfracture surgery. It just seems to me that all the basketball players I know don’t think that risk is worth it. HoopsHype

January 17, 2013 Updates

In December, Representative Elijah Cummings called it “incredibly ridiculous” that the NFL does not test for human growth hormone (HGH), lamenting years of stalling tactics from the players union. Cummings, from Maryland, is the ranking Democrat on a committee that has held many a hearing on doping in professional sports. His feelings about the NFL apply to the NBA, too. A few days after the NFL hearings, his office emailed ESPN.com the following quote: According to the expert witnesses who testified at our hearing, there is consensus among the scientific community that HGH testing is safe and reliable. Since the NBA agreed last year to start HGH testing -- and since professional basketball players already compete in the Olympics where they are subject to HGH testing -- there is no reason to delay HGH testing for the NBA itself. My hope is that all our professional sports leagues implement HGH testing right away to set an example for millions of young athletes across the country who look up to them. ESPN.com

October 19, 2012 Updates

The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency says the NBA's anti-doping program is insufficient. "They've got gaps in their program, between what they do and what we suggest would be better," David Howman said. "They know what we would suggest," added Howman, who calls for the NBA to test for human growth hormone, among other things. "And I would just hope that they would be discussing all of those things rather than just putting them on the side table." The NBA declined comment. ESPN.com

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