Today, The New York Times reported that Major League Baseball is considering testing players in the Minor Leagues for human-growth hormone.
The following statement was issued late today by the Major League Baseball Players Association regarding any possible HGH testing.
Human growth hormone is banned under our Joint Drug Program. Discipline has been imposed against players who have been found to have used HGH. We do not test currently for HGH, because no scientifically validated urine test exists. Our program calls for immediate and automatic implementation of urine testing for HGH once a scientifically validated test is available.
The Joint Program, negotiated several times with the Commissioner's Office, does not call for blood testing of players. Blood testing raises serious issues not associated with urine testing. Nonetheless, the Association has previously said that if a scientifically validated blood test for HGH was available, we would consider it.
This week, a British rugby player was suspended as a result of a reported positive blood test for HGH. This development warrants investigation and scrutiny; we already haveconferred with our experts on this matter, and with the Commissioner's Office, and we immediately began gathering additional information. However, a report of a single uncontested positive does not scientifically validate a drug test. As press reports have suggested, 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 acknowledge that it can detect use only 18-36 hours prior to collection.
Putting these important issues aside, inherent in blood testing of athletes are concerns of health, safety, fairness and competition not associated with urine testing. We have conferred initially with the Commissioner's Office about this reported positive test, as we do regarding any development in this area. We look forward to continuing to jointly explore all questions associated with this testing -- its scientific validity, its effectiveness in deterring use, its availability and the significant complications associated with blood testing, among others.
The Association agrees with the Commissioner's Office that HGH use in baseball is not to be tolerated. We intend to act without delay to ascertain whether our Program can be improved as it relates to HGH. In so doing, however, we will not compromise the commitment to fairness on which our Program always has been premised.
MORE ON HGH TESTING IN MLB:
Maury Brown and Will Carroll Discuss HGH Testing in Baseball and Football
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