Another in my occasional rants about HGH not helping you play baseball

Researchers are reporting the first scientific evidence that a hormone banned in sports can boost athletic performance.

Aha, you see, t ball?  We told you!

The improvement from human growth hormone was modest, and only in sprinting. It didn't increase strength or fitness.

Umm, well...

Growth hormone has been used by athletes in the belief that it builds muscle and improves performance. It's also harder to detect than other substances because it doesn't show up in urine tests.

Some of these guys also wear magnetic arm bands, wear the same shirt every day, and do anything else they even suspect might improve their game or ward off voodoo curses.  They believe it will help.  I believe in Santa Claus.

They lifted weights, jumped and rode exercise bikes to test their physical performance. Growth hormone didn't improve strength, power or endurance, the researchers said. The only improvement was for sprinting on a bicycle, a 4 percent increase in sprint capacity compared to those who didn't get the hormone. In men who also got testosterone shots, there was an 8 percent increase.

It's a waste of time and money to test for this stuff. 

The study volunteers who took growth hormone lost body fat and gained lean body mass, but it was mostly from water retention, not from bulking up muscle, the researchers reported in Tuesday's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Side effects included swelling and joint pain.

Bah.  And, to repeat myself, I am still far from convinced that steroids have much - if anything - to do with home run totals or increased offense.  Pitchers took steroids, too; the strike zone was notably smaller; expansion; reports of a juiced ball;  All of these things could have and probably did affect scoring in the "steroid" era.  And home run totals have been steadily increasing for 100 years.

PED's should be legal and supervised and studied extensively on elite athletes.  And Chicken Little types in the media should both own up to how they neglected covering drug use for decades and stop using anecdotes as evidence they have a huge effect on scoring.  Here's the link to the article.

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