18 March 2010

WADA President Calls on Major League Baseball to Implement Human Growth Hormone Testing

The President of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), John Fahey, called on Major League Baseball (MLB) and its players’ association (MLBPA) today to implement human growth hormone (hGH) testing.

“We continue to read statements from the MLB Commissioner and MLBPA representatives questioning the appropriateness of implementing blood testing in their league. This is nonsense,” said Mr Fahey. “The blunt reality is that a number of doping substances and methods, including hGH, are currently detectable only through blood testing. International scientific experts agree that hGH is found in extremely small quantities in urine and that a potential detection method for this substance in urine is years away. Joint blood and urine testing is the only way to go for sports organizations to ensure that they use proper means to protect the integrity of their sport.”

Last month, the UK Anti-Doping Agency announced the first completed case involving an analytical finding for hGH. In addition, in the past years, a number of athletes received sporting sanctions for possession of hGH following exchange of information between sports authorities and law enforcement.

“The key for effective hGH detection is enhanced use of intelligence and strategic out-of-competition testing,” said WADA’s President. “If they are serious about getting rid of cheats, the MLB and the MLBPA should listen to those players who supported blood collection in the past few weeks and start implementing a testing program that includes smart out-of-competition testing. Blood sample collection has been conducted for years in many sports around the world without any problem. So why do others still refuse it? Let’s keep in mind that the amount of blood taken from an athlete for hGH detection is only 10 ml. This is so little that it cannot realistically have a negative impact on the athlete’s performance.

We have again reached out to the MLB and we would be pleased to provide them, as well as any other sports organization willing to implement hGH testing, all the scientific and logistical information they may need. Now is time for them to act.”