Don Catlin, MD, CEO of Anti-Doping Research and Professor Emeritus at the UCLA School of Medicine, stated in an article titled "Human-Growth Hormone," posted on the website www.drugfreesport.com (accessed Oct. 14, 2008):
"Human-growth hormone is perhaps one of the most important of hundreds of hormones that circulate through the human body. Human-growth hormone affects many different organs too numerous to mention. It acts on the muscles and the heart. Everything begins to grow. The theory is that using it (for athletics performance) could make you stronger and give you a competitive edge."
David Epstein, reporter for Sports Illustrated, wrote in a Mar. 17, 2008 article titled "The ABC's of HGH":
"The primary purpose of growth hormone, secreted
by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, is the maintenance of
normal bone development from birth to adulthood. Synthetic human growth
hormone, or somatropin, is typically used to treat growth disorders and
the wasting effects of HIV/AIDS. Growth hormone is also involved in
regulating the body's ratio of lean muscle mass to fat, and some
athletes who inject it--the molecule is too large to be absorbed into
the bloodstream by other methods--are able to tolerate a larger workout
load. Athletes who use HGH often do so with anabolic steroids or
testosterone, believing HGH adds to the anabolic effect. Because the
amount of growth hormone in the body peaks during puberty and declines
after age 30, those who illegally prescribe or sell HGH often claim
that it counteracts the aging process."
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) stated in a Jan. 22, 2008 article titled "Substances: Human Growth Hormone," posted on its website www.asada.gov.au:
"Human growth hormone (HGH), or somatotropin, is a glycoprotein hormone that is synthesised and secreted by cells in the anterior pituitary gland.
HGH is known to act on many aspects of cellular metabolism and is also necessary for skeletal growth in humans.
The major role of HGH in body growth is to stimulate the liver and other tissues to secrete insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). IGF-1 stimulates production of cartilage cells, resulting in bone growth and also plays a key role in muscle growth. [...]
HGH may be used in sport to induce anabolic effects, reduce muscle cell breakdown and reduce body fat. [...]
Human growth hormone (HGH) is a prohibited substance both in and out of competition under the World Anti-Doping Code 2008 Prohibited List."
The National Center for Drug Free Sport, an organization that provides drug testing for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), stated in an article titled "Drugs in Sports: Peptide Hormones and Analogues," published on its website (accessed Oct. 14, 2008):
"HGH is one of the major hormones influencing growth and development
in humans. A major function of HGH is the maintenance of normal
linear growth from birth to adulthood. The metabolic action
of HGH is also important in the regulation of energy production
Some individuals use HGH because they perceive that it is as
effective as anabolic steroids with fewer side effects, and
is not detectable in a drug test. Therefore, they may also choose
to use HGH as a steroid substitute to prevent loss of muscle
after discontinuing the use of steroids."