Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, has for some time wanted the NBA to allow players in the league to use human growth hormone (HGH) for injury recovery. To provide verifiable evidence on the need for this, he decided to make funds available for a University of Michigan study.
Players in the professional basketball league are currently not allowed to use growth hormone. The NBA’s ban on the substance kicked in from the 2015-16 season. This is despite how it could help to promote faster recovery from injury, one of its many benefits.
Since the ban came into play, several players have been slammed with suspensions for testing positive for HGH. John Collins was suspended in the current season for using an amino acid peptide that promotes the release of the hormone.
In the new study by the University of Michigan, researchers found that the substance can speed up ACL tear recovery. It helped to guard against the “loss of muscle strength in the knee.”
“It’s time to recognize that HGH (Human Growth Hormone) can positively impact injury recovery,” Cuban wrote in a Twitter post. “I funded this study so that athletes can get back to full strength and doing what they love.”
Need for study
The Dallas Mavericks owner told the ESPN show, “The Jump,” that the league had no real reason to ban HGH use. He said NBA took that decision only because it is on the list of prohibited substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).
According to Cuban, the University of Michigan study was necessary to prove to the NBA that the hormone can help injured players.
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The lead author of the University of Michigan study, Christopher Mendias, Ph.D., stated that the use of growth hormone for promoting recovery is not recreational. Doping is only an issue when healthy athletes use it to gain an unfair advantage.
Promoting recovery with HGH
Recovery from injury can be quite tough in some cases. The interruption of the season by the coronavirus pandemic can make this even more difficult now.
The league would have been suspended for more than four months by the scheduled resumption date of July 31. This means a lack of training for players and the high possibility of a drop in fitness. The NBA is at the moment trying to decide what form a training camp will take to boost players’ form.
Going by the new research, growth hormone could be an answer to injuries suffered following the lockdown. It may also help to keep injuries from happening.
The University of Michigan researchers had two groups of subjects – treatment and placebo – in their study. From their analyses, they found that those who took the hormone showed faster recovery times. The treatment group had 29 percent more knee extension strength.
However, there was no radical difference in muscular gain between the two groups.
Cuban said the study represented a “first step” toward providing data for the NBA and other sporting bodies to allow HGH use by athletes. He hopes these associations would see reasons to embark on further studies on its helpfulness.
Also, the Mavericks owner expressed his readiness to provide financial support for further research.
Mendias suggested that players could petition relevant bodies to legalize the use of the hormone. Athletes could request for it to be added to the Therapeutic Use Exception list for medical uses.
The researcher emphasized that the goal of use would be to treat injuries and prevent muscle weakness. He also stated that the ability of the substance to boost performance is only temporary – only for treatment duration.
Mark Cuban supports use of HGH in injury recovery, funded study with University of Michigan on subject – CBBSports.com (https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/mark-cuban-supports-use-of-hgh-in-injury-recovery-funded-study-with-university-of-michigan-on-subject/)