By Dan Chaiet, Senior Editor – Steroidal.com
Very recently, it was announced that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had approached the NBA (and some would say he had challenged the sports establishment in general) concerning the validity in barring athletes from utilizing HGH (Human Growth Hormone) for the purpose of injury recovery and prevention. New developments have been made in this spearhead to bring more acceptance to the practice of HGH and Testosterone use in sports by athletes since then.
Cuban has announced that he is willing to help fund studies designed to investigate whether or not HGH use is indeed beneficial for the well-being of athletes and their injury recovery and prevention. Since officially approaching the NBA with this proposal, Cuban has reported that NBA officials are actually quite receptive to the idea of these studies. At present, the general climate within the sports establishment in general is that HGH and anabolic steroids are extremely dangerous substances that enhance athletic performance, used by cheating athletes, and that they have no place what so ever within sports. Cuban is the voice of the other side of this argument – the side that the media never reports on and that the average individual never hears about – the argument that if HGH is indeed so harmful to athletes, it should be studied rigorously in order to confirm or reject these claims; and if these claims are rejected by rigorous scientific investigation, why shouldn’t athletes be able to utilize it for the purpose of injury prevention and recovery?
Cuban had the following to say to USA Today: “They’re open-minded. Knowing that it’ll take 10 years to get [the studies] done, it’s easy to be open-minded and say when it’s there, it’s there. But hopefully it’s something I can accelerate. I’ve talked to a couple of different universities about funding studies. It doesn’t happen in a year or two, though. It’ll take a long time.”
It is important to note that HGH use for these purposes, after these studies are complete, would have to be approved by the FDA. The current concern is to finally clear the air of the misinformation, nonsense, and stigma related to HGH use through rigorous scientific study, and following this, alter the approvals for use through organizations such as the FDA.
However, an additional concern is that of the public’s perception and how it will impact the situation if in the future, HGH use by athletes is acceptable. Cuban had the following to say: “That’s curable. That’s so curable it’s easy. I mean, think of it this way: Any drug that’s been FDA approved that has medical benefits, there’s going to be a non-sports population that benefits from it. If you’ve got every recreational athlete using it to recover, then it’s becomes kind of the Tommy John surgery equivalent. It’s like when I was a kid, I was stuck with glasses for life. Then Lasik comes along and it gets approved. Now, every player uses it and needs it. I’m not worried about the public perception. Perception is really connected to non-prescribed usage. If it’s all prescribed usage, it’s a different animal.”.
Cuban’s point here is that altering the social acceptance and perception of something is a two-step process: first, prove or disprove the current allegations and stigma towards the substance in question, and the second step (social acceptance) will slowly follow. This could be an interesting headway in changing the social perception in regards to HGH and anabolic steroids, but as Cuban said, it will take a long time.
Perhaps in 10 – 20 years, the attitudes and perceptions of anabolic steroids will have been completely turned around? It’s too soon to tell, but it seems like things could certainly be on the right path.