HoopsHype Doping rumors

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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

October 18, 2012 Updates

"I had meetings last week with both the MLB and the NFL," Howman told ESPN.com by phone. "Although through their collectively bargained agreements, they have not embraced the World Anti-Doping Code, they've certainly come much closer. "Everybody likes to think their sport is one that's not tainted. We work on the basis that there's no sport, and no country, which is immune. Better, therefore, to be aggressive in the way you go forward than to be complacent. I think those who are too complacent end up being bitten where they don't like to be bitten." ESPN.com

We had been told, for years, that steroids wouldn't help in basketball. We covered the sport, knew and liked players, and believed the sport generally to be clean. What's more, to suggest that basketball was dirty, or that there were drug cheats in the sport, was to come pretty close to accusing Stenstrup, a guy NBA players turn to for high-end workout advice, of knowing about it, or worse. The simple thing would have been for Stenstrup to go along with our theories. We wanted him to reassure us. Our beloved sport, his beloved clientele, all clean and Stenstrup did not tell us that the NBA was full of dopers, or anything like it. But he sure dumped cold water on the whole "wouldn't help in the NBA" theory.determined to stay that way. Bless him, though, that Corey Stenstrup. He's a straight shooter. His words, with just a hint of annoyance at our ignorance, cut the air -- and the B.S. "Guys," he announced, "all that stuff helps." ESPN.com

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