Rugby player Terry Newton recently received a two-year ban after an out-of-competition blood sample collected in November 2009 tested positive a banned human growth hormone (HgH).
This is big news because tests for HgH were previously largely unsuccessful because the substance leaves the body fairly quickly.Ã‚Â The new test, which UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive Andy Parkinson calls “landmark in the fight against doping” helps close the door on athletes that have or continue to use the substance…and, unfortunately, could open the door to rescreening of old blood samples, potentially opening a Pandora’s Box of hell.
HgH, which speeds up muscle cell growth and recovery, also has many adverse side effects including abnormal growth of the hands and feet, excessive hair growth and abnormal bone and connective tissue growth, particularly in the face.
UKAD and the drug-testing laboratory at King’s College’s Drug Control Centre in London worked closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency throughout the sample-analysis process. Both UKAD and WADA have been keen on publishing the results of this first positive test, likely hoping to instill fear in athletes using HgH and assuming they can get away with it.
For his part, Newton apologized to friends, family and team, adding “”I have made a grave error of judgment in taking a banned substance and hope that, if nothing else, my stupidity will be a warning to any other professional in any sport of the consequences of doing so.”
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