The issue of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) has hammered baseball like Bryce Harper unloading on a meaty fastball over the center of the plate. The Biogenesis case, which brought down Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and likely sends Alex Rodriquez to the sidelines long-term is the latest example.
NFL players suspended for some of PED, also common, though the football community doesn't revolt to the same degree as the stat-driven baseball crowd.
As for the NBA, well, at this point, there really is no there there. To this point, the league has not be scandalized in this way, not yet. To this point, the league is also not testing for Human Growth Hormone (HGH).
Last month, the primary leaker of the Biogenesis case said unnamed NBA players were involved with the South Florida clinic.
This week, the NBA responded.
“We’ve been actively working to understand the situation and to the extent possible to learn what is being uncovered by MLB’s investigation,” NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver told the NY Post. “We are not aware of any involvement by NBA players.”
At this point, the NBA has the same three-strikes penalty scenario as MLB. The first PED offense equals a 20-game suspension, followed by 45 games and a lifetime ban for a third. Players can be tested randomly six times a year.
In the future, HGH testing will be part of the process.
“One of the changes that we know we’ll be making to our current drug testing is the addition of HGH testing, which requires taking blood from the players,” Silver said. “We want to make sure, on behalf of our players, as well, that’s it’s done in the proper way, and that we understand what are the appropriate baselines for a natural substance, like HGH, so we can detect where there are aberrations. That is something we’re very focused on.”
Don't expect any movement on this until the NBA players union hires a new executive director to replace the exiled Billy Hunter.
Like ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin, it's hard imaging that there aren't some using in the NBA, especially with lucrative contacts at stakes. It's also worth noting that during international competitions like the 2012 London games LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and others were tested under the stringent Olympic-level testing.