WADA Too Secretive About hGH Test Reliability in NFLPA Meeting

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The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) is being too secretive about the reliability of the blood test for detecting human growth hormone (hGH) use in athletes according to Don Catlin. Catlin’s comments come after the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) expressed reservations about the new blood test for human growth hormone (hGH).

Catlin became world-renowned for his anti-doping work as the director of the United States Olympic drug testing laboratory at UCLA. Most recently, he founded Anti-Doping Research and serves as the chief executive officer.

Catlin understands why the National Football League Players’ Association (NFLPA) doesn’t trust WADA when it comes to the hGH blood test.

“I’d like to look at the data, but WADA doesn’t disclose its information so an independent scientist can review it,” according to Catlin. Catlin criticizes WADA for its lack of transparency. Catlin claims that WADA has repeatedly refused to release the rate of false positives and false negatives to researchers in the 8 years since the hGH test was introduced. Without this data, it is difficult to independently establish the reliability of the test and, ultimately, its fairness to athletes.

Earlier this month, the NFL announced that it would become the first professional sport in the United States to start testing for hGH after the players’ union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement which agreed, in principle, to the new anti-doping test. According to the agreement, the NFL and NLFPA had agreed on a “program on anabolic steroids and related substances will include both annual blood testing and random blood testing for human growth hormone“.

The announcement now appears to have been premature. George Atallah, a spokesperson for the NFLPA, that the actual implementation of hGH testing remains open to discussion and pending agreement by both parties notwithstanding the collective bargaining agreement. It appears unlikely that the NFL will actually implement hGH testing this season.

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O’Keeffe, M. (August 29, 2011).Scientist Don Catlin understands NFLPA’s hesitation to allow WADA to test players for HGH. Retrieved from: