The NBA may finally follow along the heals of the MLB and the NFL for HGH (Human Growth Hormone) testing. For the past 10 years, performance-enhancing drugs have been a major source of controversy for baseball and football, but it’s been eerily silent in the world of basketball. While the NBA does plenty of drug testing via urine samples, it doesn’t do any drug testing via blood samples, which is the only kind of test that can detect HGH.
Last year, the World Anti-Doping Agency said, "They (NBA) do not feel they have such an issue as the other major leagues and therefore haven't addressed it in quite the same way. I (Director David Howman) just think you've got to be very careful when you start saying performance-enhancing drugs are not beneficial in any sport, because you're going to be proven wrong. And you'll be proven wrong when you're not expecting it."
Commissioner David Stern has recently responded by telling WCCO in Minnesota, “We watch what’s going on in baseball, we watch the negotiations that are going in with football, and it is my expectation that by next season [we] will be doing blood testing for HGH,”
With Commissioner David Stern on the brink of retirement, this sort of policy change could solidify Stern's resume as one of the best commissioners in sports history. However, it could just as easily backfire if numerous NBA stars are tested positive for HGH. Stern has been adamant that his beloved association is squeaky clean and that basketball is a different type of sport from football and baseball. One of the reasons why the NBA has been so slow to adopt HGH testing is because he believed that HGH doesn't help NBA athletes the way that it helps NFL and MLB athletes. So, while Stern may be totally okay with testing his players for HGH right now, he may have just opened up Pandora's Box for next year.
The only thing for certain is that sports fans don't like cheaters and the NBA is one of the few associations that hasn't come under attack - not yet anyway.