So Gary Matthews Jr. is busted. In light of that, I'm really starting to wonder if we shouldn't just let these players do whatever they want to do in terms of training. I mean, really... The whole point of banning these things is because kids want to emulate athletes and emulating an athlete who's on cocaine or amphetamines or steroids is dangerous. But what if a kid wants to emulate an athlete taking HGH? Is HGH bad for you? And if it isn't bad for you, then why shouldn't players use it?
The side effects of steroids include the following:
...For men shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, development of breasts; for women growth of facial hair, changes in or cessation of the menstrual cycle, deepened voice;In other words, taking steroids will turn you into some sort of asexual monster. If you're a dude, you turn into a hairless thing with boobs and shrunken, useless balls. If you're a chick, it'll turn you into a dude. The side effects of amphetamines include weight loss, mood swings, hostility and euphoria followed by depression. Basically, it will turn you into a contestant on America's Next Top Model. And if you take cocaine, it turns you into an arrogant little prick with the sniffles.
What if you take HGH? Well... If you're short, it will likely makes you taller. If you're old it might keep you younger. If you're an athlete, it will make you stronger. And in our society, something that makes you taller, stronger and younger is frankly... pretty cool.
The negative side effects of elevated levels of HGH? Well, according to one set of studies:
HGH can lead to swelling of the soft tissues in the body; abnormal growth of the hands, feet and face; high blood pressure; an increased tendency to sweat and excessive hair growth....Which sounds a lot like what happens to athletes normally.
Other information suggests that there are slightly more troubling side effects like Carpal tunnel, arthritis, bloating and diabetes, but really... that's the same kind of stuff that can happen to you if you spend too much time in front of a computer, drinking too much soda. And on top of that, studies show that those types of side effects are less prevalent in young people than they are in old people. And since a lot of those side effects start to occur naturally as you get older, there's still a sentiment that the good may outweigh the bad.
Of course... Studies are still necessary.
With all that being said, if further studies come back and say that there really isn't any negative effect to using HGH at levels that significantly improve an athlete's performance, then shouldn't we allow it to be used? Would it then be the same as laser eye surgery or protein or vitamins?
I used to have a pretty good idea of why we don't want performance enhancers in baseball, but with a lot of the newer stuff that's out there... I'm starting to get fuzzy on it. I'm pretty sure that it has something to do with me not liking Barry Bonds.