Jan 15 2010
HGH use has been taking the headlines for the last few months again because of the involvement of some professional athletes. It was also highlighted when a Canadian doctor was apprehended by the authorities for possibly distributing HGH to high profile athletes particularly in the major league baseball and national football league. HGH or human growth hormone is used to treat some medical condition but it becomes a major issue because athletes and bodybuilders use this drug to improve their performance in competition.
If HGH use is common in professional sports, can we say that the drug is also used in the college or high school athletics? High school coaches believe otherwise. In the article by Brian Bethel of ReporterNews.com, he wrote that most coaches in the college and high school level do not believe that HGH use should be a major concern as compared to other performance enhancing drugs banned by athletic associations. The use of human growth hormone is also included in the banned list of athletic associations conducting anti-doping tests.
Absence of HGh use in the high school level does not mean that local sports authorities should lay their guards down. For them, continued information campaign should be implemented to deter athletes from taking this drug. According to Cooper High School head football coach Mike Spradlin, it is always included in their discussion with young athletes especially on the issue of taking supplements. “It’s absolutely something we talk to our kids about. We really preach up here about doing things the right way,” he said. Coach Spradlin said that the use of steroids and HGH by baseball star Mark McGwire is considered cheating.
Coaches and sports officials of the Abeline Christian University also said that they never encountered athletes using HGH. “I’ve never run into an athlete who’s used it at the college level,” said Cory Driskill, head athletic trainer of the university. According to the executive director of the Abilene Youth Sports Authority, Jon Smith, the school is not totally immune from steroid or HGH use. He added that he have not heard any HGH use by young athletes.
The use of performance enhancing drugs can be avoided through continuous education of the athletes. Most High school athletics officials regularly conduct consultations and advice student athletes on how to achieve their goals. Football coach Steve Warren of Abilene High School said that through the high school athletics program, they were able to regularly emphasize that taking shortcuts only cheats those who take them. “There’s no substitute for just getting your tail in that weight room and just busting it,” the coach said.
The NCAA, UIL, and other interscholastic athletic associations regularly conduct steroid testing on student athletes. Students who will be caught using any performance enhancer will be given sanctions. The penalty varies but the worst is being banned in participating in any competition. To effectively implement the anti-doping programs of schools, some states allocated funds to support the program. Some school organization expanded their steroid testing program like the IHSA and NJSIAA. Even if there were previous studies that the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in the college and high school level is rampant, the results of the tests were not alarming. In the recent report of the UIL or University Interscholastic League, the number of athletes caught using steroids is minimal. Out of the 16,260 students tested, there were only 8 student athletes who were confirmed positive for a prohibited substance.