Athletes normally make for great role models. These are guys (and gals) who have managed to push themselves to the limits of human performance through nothing but grit and determination. Through gruelling training and intense workouts, they’ve made themselves faster, stronger and more efficient in all manner of activities and thereby managed to take home gold medals and first places for their king and country.
But as it happens, these heroes are just people to – and they’re fallible and prone to error just like the rest of us.
And more often than not, these falls from graces tend to involve the use of one illicit drug or other. Many substances are banned by sporting associations because they give athletes an unfair advantage and enable them to grow stronger, faster and more effective in their sports than others.
Of course it’s a somewhat blurry line. Caffeine can enhance performance for example but athletes aren’t completely banned from taking it – only during competitions.
In this post, we will be looking at athletes that have used HGH specifically and see how it helped them to get stronger and potentially get an edge over the competition.
Lance Armstrong is one of the most high profile cases of doping in athletics of all time. Lance was certainly an aspirational figure for many many years, having been able to achieve incredible things in cycling despite numerous different setbacks. He even made an appearance in the film Dodge Ball, playing a parody of himself giving a motivational speech to the main character.
But following his retirement, Lance openly admitted to cheating for his entire career and using numerous drugs to enhance his performance. The most notable of these was EPA, which increases the amount of red blood cells in the system to provide more cardio endurance and allow a cyclist to perform at full capacity for much longer.
But interestingly, Lance also used HGH according to some sources. Multiple difers that competed on the SPS and Discovery Channel teams during that era, claimed that Johan Bruyneel (team director) and his staff offered them growth hormone – most likely, this will have included Lance Amrstrong.
Unfortunately, Baseball is a sport that has something of a history with doping lately and more and more athletes are coming out of the woodwork admitting their use of various drugs. Jay Gibbons is one such athlete but he pleads innocence by suggesting that it wasn’t his idea and that he wasn’t aware of the implications himself. He is quoted as saying:
“I am deeply sorry for the mistakes that I have made. I have no excuses and bare sole responsibility for my decisions. Years ago, I relied on the advice of a doctor, filled a prescription, charged the HGH, which is a medication, to my credit card and had only intended to help speed my recovery from my injuries and surgeries.”
It is certainly true that HGH can be used to extend the careers of athletes but it’s unlikely that he would have been entirely innocent to the rules surrounding HGH use!
Peyton Manning is an NFL player who was accused of doping with human growth hormone during recovery from neck fusion surgeries in 2011. However, Peyton has gone down fighting and denies allegations, claiming that they are ‘complete garbage’. It’s also important to note that the athlete who filmed the allegations was bankrupted in 2013 after scamming investors in a property scheme.
Ronnie is a bit of a wildcard thrown in here. Ronnie Coleman is an ex-Mr. Olympia and one of the most successful bodybuilders of all time. He hasn’t gone on record explicitly as using human growth hormone but it is certainly very safe to presume.
In the sport of bodybuilding, athletes are well known to use all manner of steroids and other illegal substances – HGH included. Apart from anything else, it is physically impossible to reach Ronnie Coleman’s dimensions without any chemical assistance (as studies looking at ‘FFM’ demonstrate).
The IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) does conduct drug tests in order to put forward a good image but it also provides plenty of warning so that it’s athletes can circumvent them. The insinuation is that freakish size is good for the sport – why would the IFBB want to change that?
What’s more, is that you can visibly see one of the main side effects of HGH – the ‘GH Gut’ – when looking at Ronnie Coleman in old photos. But then again, the same can also be said for all of his contemporaries!