HGH test leads to ban of rugby player (1 Viewer)

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salsadancer7

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Jun 1, 2004
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...interesting news.

Updated: February 23, 2010, 10:04 AM ET

HGH test leads to ban of rugby player

ESPN.com news services

LONDON -- In a major breakthrough in the fight against doping, a British rugby league player has become the first athlete to be suspended for using human growth hormone.

Terry Newton admitted taking the substance in a statement released by his attorneys on Friday. The United Kingdom Anti-Doping authority announced a two-year ban on Monday after Newton was fired by his club, Wakefield.

"It's the first time and very significant," WADA director general David Howman said. "It shows the people who say that HGH cannot be detected that it can. The sports people who said it can't be detected are fooling themselves."

HGH is banned in the major North American sports leagues, most notably by baseball since 2005. But amid the lack of an effective test, there has not been testing for the substance.

Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, said the British finding blasts a hole in that thinking, according to the New York Daily News.

"All of us who have helped develop a test wouldn't put it in place if it wasn't forensically sound and reliable." Tygart said, according to the Daily News. "Particularly in [Newton's] case, it's proof positive the test works."

UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson said it was a landmark case.

"It is the world-first analytical positive for HGH, a substance that has previously gone undetected because it leaves the system fairly quickly after administration," Parkinson said.

Parkinson said this case, like the tests for the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO, sends out a message that scientists are catching up with cheats.

"There has been a feeling that you can take growth hormone with impunity, but this shows this is no longer the case," Parkinson said. "Now there is a test, so our message to athletes is to think twice about using it.

"In the 1990s, athletes thought they could get away with using EPO and now there is a test for it. And the same is now the case with human growth hormone."

UK Anti-Doping and its drug control center at King's College London worked closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency throughout the analysis process.

[ame="http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=4938135"]Major League Baseball hoping to test minor leaguers for HGH - ESPN[/ame]
 
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