MLB commissioner Bud Selig will not implement blood testing for human growth hormone in the minor leagues or majors anytime in the foreseeable future because home runs are fun.
Our British friends Anti-Doping Agency and our own United States Anti-Doping Agency are totally psyched that they busted a British rugby player (that’s the soccer meets football kinda sport) for testing positive for human growth hormone. Both Anti-Doping groups see the bust as proof that the blood test developed by Olympic researchers is both accurate and reliable.
Baseball officials who love slugging and other record-breaking accomplishments are not convinced that the test is trustworthy enough to implement. Perhaps because the test has been available for six years and has been used on Olympians with no official positive test results. Flaw in the test or clean Olympians?
Maybe a flaw in the test is that an athlete has to be doing an insanely elephant portion of HGH to get caught. In which case, this would be perfect for major league baseball.
The MLB Players Association expressed skepticism about the value of the testing that they really, really, don’t want.
“A report of a single uncontested positive does not scientifically validate a drug test,” the union said in a statement. “There remains substantial debate in the testing community about the scientific validity of blood testing for HGH. And as we understand it, even those who vouch for the scientific validity of this test acknowledged that it can detect use only 18-36 hours prior to collection.”
Isn’t it nice of the union to point out that these tests would have to be random? Thanks, union! You’re accidentally helping a little, maybe.
A PGA Tour executive also has concerns about the blood test. “The PGA is concerned that the efficacy of this test is not worth the invasiveness.” Yeah, because golf has a performance-enhancing drug epidemic. The PGA should be concerned about its sex addiction that, thankfully, does not affect all players but one, because the majority are too old/unattractive/boring/crotchety to have such a non-issue affect them.
USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart admitted to a terrific strategy. The agency picked athletes to test based on the likelihood that competitors in their sport used HGH, whether they were recovering from injuries, in contract years or had an unexpectedly dominant performance.
“It’s all about protecting the clean athlete,” Tygart said. The best way to actually protect the clean athletes, of course, is to drug test everyone all the time!
HGH is banned by MLB and the NFL, but neither sport tests for the drug. This makes as much sense as having a law against drunk driving, but failing to invent the breathalyzer.
The MLB Players Association has especially been resistant to blood testing for obvious reasons, because all the players are on it. The Players Defense Unit finds blood testing far more invasive than urine testing. Duh. But it’s not like these guys are really afraid of needles… that’s the tool that got them in this situation in the first place.
There is funding to develop a HGH urine test, but it’s not really happening. One can only wonder why.
The minor leagues are not covered by baseball’s CBA, so comish Selig could initiate blood testing without the union’s consent. But that would be a step towards cleaning up a sport that he’s not ready to take.