Thursday , May , 23 , 2013 Michael Brouillet

Top 5 Myths of PEDS in the NBA.

Performance Enhancing Drugs have hit the NBA.

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Faster recovery, weak testing, and more money.

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Somehow the NBA has the reputation as a drug free league. Ok, maybe not drug when it comes to pot, but the performance enhancement drug (PED) scandals that have ravaged sports like baseball, football, and cycling haven’t really gotten much traction in the NBA. Yet, a recent HoopsWorld title, “The NBA Can No Longer Ignore PEDs” shows a changing tide.

Maybe one reason PED scandals haven’t hit the NBA very hard is from what the director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency, David Howman identified in a recent ESPN article as “gaps” in the NBA’s anti-doping testing program. Whatever your beliefs are on PEDs in the NBA, here is HoopsVibe’s top 5 NBA PED myths.

#1. NBA players gain no advantage by using PEDs = FALSE.

Of course they gain an advantage. PEDs allow players to bounce back from injuries faster than ever. You don’t think Derrick Rose, Kobe Bryant or any NBA player in playoff contention or a contract year doesn’t want to recover quickly?

#2. PEDs aren’t in the NBA = FALSE.

PEDs are definitely in the NBA. We just don’t know how prevalent. Ask Hedo Turkoglu, O.J. Mayo, Rashard Lewis, Darius Miles, Lindsey Hunter, Soumaila Samake, Matt Geiger, and Don MacLean their thoughts on the benefits of PEDs. All of these players were busted for PED and/or steroid abuse.

#3. PEDs give you huge muscles and cut down on mobility. This isn’t useful for NBA players = FALSE.

Charles Yesalis, a Penn State emeritus professor and sports doping expert had this to say in a Sports On Earth article,

“Distance runners have been using anabolics and growth hormones in very small doses for years,” he says. “Not to build muscle. But to help recuperate. The myth of [PEDs] making you muscle-bound is so over.”

I believe NBA players are using steroids. Human growth hormone. Stimulants like Adderall. The blood-boosting drug erythropoietin (EPO). Anything and everything to get an edge. I believe players are doping in the summer and doping in season and doping during All-Star Weekend.

#4. NBA drug testing would catch players using PEDs just like in the NFL and MLB = FALSE.

The NBA drug testing policy is significantly different than the policy in the NFL and MLB. It has been referred to by lawmakers as “inadequate,” “pathetic,” and “a joke.” 

All players are subject to four (4) random tests each season (from October 1 to June 30). All players are also subject to two (2) random tests each off-season (from July 1 to September 30). All such tests are scheduled and conducted by an independent, third-party entity and are without prior notice to the player. The NBA and the NBPA are not involved in the scheduling of any tests or the selection of players for testing.

#5. The NBA severely punishes those that fail PED drug tests = FALSE.

Players that fail PED tests use to only receive a 5-game suspension. This was eventually ramped up to 10-games and is now a towering 20-game suspension. This is in comparison to an instant disqualification from the league for other drug violations that don’t even give players a physical advantage. Note, marijuana has its own lenient rules surrounding it similar to PEDs. Clearly, the NBA does not see PEDs as a threat to the league or their brand.

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Photo Credit: Steroid Craze Twitter

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