Human Growth Hormone Controversy

Recent revelations connecting former or current MLB players, including Jason Grimsley, David Segui and others, to the use of human growth hormone (HGH) have catapulted this hormone into the headlines. However, recent news stories have misstated or distorted the legal points. An ABC News reporter stated, “HGH is only approved for people with dwarfism and muscle wasting from diseases like cancer and AIDS. A doctor can write a prescription for only those two reasons…” Not true. Doctors may lawfully write prescriptions for HGH deficiency in children and adults, and an increasing number of doctors are doing so. One medical official from the sports anti-doping establishment has suggested that writing HGH prescriptions for people who are not dwarves or cancer or AIDS patients is illegal and “Just like cocaine.” That’s just silly. It is nothing like cocaine, which unlike HGH is a psychoactive narcotic and legally classified as a controlled substance. These examples highlight the problems that ensue when doctors try to interpret the law and when journalists treat and portray anti-doping activists like neutral and objective experts. For more about the legalities of HGH, click here.