News in the MLB : I am all for playing fair but are the new rules under which baseball players stand really fair? As blood tests become the new normal in Spring Training and athletes can’t go to anti-aging clinics without falling under public humiliation, the question becomes, WHAT IS FAIR ?
Focused on fighting for his job as catcher with Chris Stewart and Austin Romin, New York Yankee, Francisco Cervelli tweeted from @Fran_Cervelli, saying “Following my foot injury in March 2011, I consulted with a number of experts, including BioGenesis Clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery. I purchased supplements that I am certain were not prohibited by Major League Baseball.” Guilty by association, Cervelli was scrutinized by the press during spring training because his name came up on a list of patients of the BioGenesis Clinic known for supplying performance enhancing drugs to athletes like Alex Rodriguez.
One such Performance Enhancing Drug is Human Growth Hormone.
Human Growth Hormone (hGH), also known as somatotropin, is the most plentiful hormone of the anterior pituitary (in the brain). Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone (GHRH) is released by the hypothalmus, in response to response to chemical changes in the body (hypoglycemic conditions, deep sleep, stress, vigorous physical activity, glucagon, estrogens, cortisol, or increased levels of insulin), which then stimulate the secretion of hGH.When stimulated by the hypothalmic system, growth hormone then causes the secretion of insulinlike growth factors (IGFs). Growth Hormone released in the brain can affect IGFs stimulated in the liver, skeletal muscles, cartilage, bones and other tissues regulating body growth and metabolism. IGFs cause an increase in the uptake of amino acids and accelerated protein synthesis causing the cells to grow and multiply. Athletes seeking to maintain muscle mass or promote healing of injuries and tissue repair often seek hGH therapy to stimulate IGFs. They are cautioned though that persistent excessive hGH can cause hyperglycemia as the pancreas floods the blood with insulin continually. This excessive type of secretion of insulin can result in a “burn-out” of the pancreatic beta cells causing diabetes mellitus.
In the MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program handbook are 95 chemical compounds deemed illicit in nature if used outside the scope of a written doctor’s prescription. Though, I don’t think they [the MLB drug Lords] are taking an Rx for certain drugs like hGH (Human Growth Hormone) or Marijuana one can get a doctor’s note for a host of stimulants under the scope of suffering from ADHD. Acording to The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), athletes may be given, “Therapeutic Use Exemptions. Athletes may have illnesses or conditions that require them to take particular medications. If the medication an athlete is required to take to treat an illness or condition happens to fall under the Prohibited List, a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) may give that athlete the authorization to take the needed medicine.”
Intended to deter ilicit use of antiestrogenic steroids and HgH that, yield an unfair competitive advantage to their users, MLB will now require athletes to adhere to the strongest tests in major league sports, inline with the guidelines of WADA. Regular blood tests will be maintained with strict confidentiality to measure baseline Testosterone/Epitestosterone (T/E) ratio to establish a longitudinal profile program.
I don’t think maintaining data on T/E ratios will bring the sport closer to a clean standard but it is moving in the right direction toward monitoring the health of the athletes. I don’t know about you my medicine cabinet is full of chemicals I can’t spell. As the scientific knowledge of human physiology increases could we embrace the advances ?
Tests the MLB states are on the non exhaustive list of banned drugs:
PERFORMANCE ENHANCING SUBSTANCES
9. Clenbuterol 5
50. Tetrahydrogestrinone 51. Trenbolone
52. Any salt, ester or ether of a drug or substance listed above; and
53. Human Growth Hormone (“HGH”)
54. Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF-1), including all isomers of IGF-1 sometimes referred to as Mechano Growth Factors 6
55. Gonadotrophins (including LH and hCG)
56. Aromatase Inhibitors, including Anastrazole, Lestrozole, Aminogluthemide, Exemestane, Formestane, and Testolactone
57. Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators, including Raloxifene, Tamoxifen and Toremifene
58. Other Anti-estrogens, including Clomiphene, Cyclophenil, and Fulvestrant
1. Amfepramone (Diethylproprion)
27. Phendimetrazine (Phenmetrazine)
29. Pyrovalerone; and
DRUGS OF ABUSE
4. Opiates (e.g., Heroin, Codeine, Morphine)
5. MDMA (“Ecstasy”)
6. GHB; and
7. Phencyclidine (“PCP”)