20 August 2014

Testing for Human Growth Hormone - Update

Following WADA’s recent notice to the anti-doping community regarding the revision to the human growth hormone (hGH) Guidelines (2 June 2014), WADA has taken the opportunity to remind anti-doping organizations (ADOs) that had previously stored blood serum samples for future hGH analysis that they should now proceed with retrospective analysis using the hGH Isoform Differential Immunoassays test. 

In addition, ADOs that have conducted minimal blood testing have been asked to consider expanding their programs to reflect the risk of hGH abuse by their athletes.

Following the outcome of the Veerpalu case, which confirmed the scientific validity and efficacy of the hGH Isoform Differential Immunoassays testing method, the new version of the hGH Guidelines reflects the revised Decision Limits (DLs) applicable to the hGH isoforms method. The revised DLs are the result of statistical analyses performed on hGH doping control data by two independent teams of statisticians http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24973245  [1]

The hGH Guidelines have been further developed to ensure a harmonized approach in the application of the hGH Isoform Differential Immunoassays for the detection of doping with hGH in sport.

Questions regarding testing for hGH should be directed to Dr. Osquel Barroso, Deputy Director, Science at WADA. WADA will also issue an updated hGH questions and answer document in the near future which will be available on the WADA website.


[1] Hanley JA, Saarela O, Stephens DA and Thalabard JC. Growth Horm IGF Res. 2014, Jun 11. pii: S1096-6374(14)00049-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ghir.2014.06.001.