Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

16 Jul 2010

HGH, NFL, AND OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORDS

I thought this was a fantastic article (my only complaint would be that it could have been twice as long). This is clearly a massive problem for the league (and pretty much any other sport out there) and it is great to see a well informed and reasoned artice on the subject.

The NFL will never get a handle on this until they start issuing lifetime bans for trangressors. I don't really understand the union's position on this either. Refusing to attempt to make progress on this issue is absurd when there are massive health risks associated with PED use, not to mention the appalling spectre of possibly large numbers of players who lost their chances of NFL careers due to being unwilling to cheat. Or looking at it the other way you could argue that there will soon (ie within ten years or so) be hundreds of former NFL players requiring extra benefits as a result of sickness that might have been generaed by using PEDs (ie cheating). That is completely ignoring the possibility that some of the massive impacts that players are routinely subjected to are a result of steroid use making players bigger and faster.

In all a horrid and thoroughly intractable problem (but great article).

Posted by: Jimmy on 16 Jul 2010

3 replies , Last at 24 Jul 2010, 5:47pm by Flounder

1
Re: HGH, NFL, AND OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORDS
by JasonK :: Sun, 07/18/2010 - 7:34pm

I'll second the notion-- Will's article is absolutely one of the highlights of FOA10 to me. Fantastic work.

2
Re: HGH, NFL, AND OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORDS
by TruFalcons (not verified) :: Tue, 07/20/2010 - 2:25am

Interesting article. Would have liked to hear more about actual dangers of using these PEDs from the perspective of a responsible user.
Most just assume it leads to health problems, which it likely will if allowed to develop into a chemical arms race, but are there any real dangers for those who just use it to recover from injury or as part of their training regimen?

3
Re: HGH, NFL, AND OTHER FOUR-LETTER WORDS
by Flounder :: Sat, 07/24/2010 - 5:47pm

I have no idea if there are real dangers if strictly used for injury recovery or in some limited fashion in training, but ultimately that isn't relevant.

If you allowed it for those limited circumstances, it then become impossible to separate the "responsible" users from the irresponsible/cheating users in a manner that isn't extremely costly and invasive of players lives. There's have to be rules on what is a sufficient injury, what levels are OK for training, when in training. All players would probably have to get tested extremely frequently. A total ban is the only thing that makes sense. Once the door is opened a crack, the result is either 1) the chemical arms race you referred to, 2) an extremely costly, byzantine enforcement system, or 3) both. I'm sure some would argue we're at 3 already anyways.

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