In another dispatch from theÂ Journal of Who Saw This Coming?, new data suggests that use of human growth hormone (HGH) is common among American weightlifters, and that more than half of those who used HGH regularly have also used drugs ranging from steroids to cocaine to ecstasy.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, surveyed more than 230 American male weightlifters, ranging in age from 18 to 40, and found thatÂ 12 percent of them had used HGH, which has banned in sports for more than 20 years now. For a long time, HGH was essentially undetectable, beforeÂ urine testsÂ (which are still highly controversial in terms of their reliability) came along. Scientists are still working toward more reliable and cost-effectiveÂ blood testsÂ that could be implemented on a mass scale, and progress has been steady. But until these tests can be let loose on a larger scale (read: high school and other amateur athletes), its use (now cheaper than ever) should remain constant.
The median usage time for those who reported HGH use was 23 weeks, with most putting some 15 to 20 units into their bodies every week.
The good news to be dug out of the study is that those weightlifters who reported both HGH and anabolic steroid use were older, reporting an average of 11.6 years of weightlifting experience, three years more than those who not taken any illicit drugs. So maybe the younger generation is coming around! Although, without constant education and prevention efforts, we're still only a few steps away from anÂ All-Drug Olympics. http://www.wired.com/playbook/2011/01/hgh-american-weightlifters/