U.S. Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart says it is not difficult for NBA players to beat the league’s drug-testing program. Tygart told ESPN.com that the NBA’s testing program, which is built on six urine tests a year, is “not at all” tough to beat.
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“I don’t want to be naïve. We don’t have HGH testing in our league. It’s something we agreed we’d do with the union, and we’re waiting to figure out what the appropriate procedures are. Understandably — and I’m sympathetic to the players here — because it requires the taking of blood, we want to make sure it’s done in the absolute right way. The NFL and their player association are going through the same discussion.” Tygart, however, dismisses the long-held NBA position that a lack of overt signs of PEDs means the lack of a problem. “Don’t be naive to the pressures,” Tygart said before hearing Silver’s comments. “Take your head out of the sand.”
“Unfortunately, I think the athletes are being let down by the system,” Tygart said in an interview with ESPN.com at the Sloan Conference on sports analytics Saturday at MIT. “Really, I’ve said it before. If there’s no chance of getting caught, and you’re overly competitive, you’re going to do anything possible to win. That includes using these dangerous drugs because they will give you a performance-enhancing benefit. “We’re hopeful at some point the athletes are supported and given the opportunity to be held to the highest standards. They do it when they’re subjected to the Olympic testing, a year out before the OIympic Games. They’re under our jurisdiction subject to blood testing and out-of-competition, no-notice, no blackout periods for when they can’t be tested. And they fully support it. We’ve never had a player say they didn’t want to be part of the program because of the testing.”