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Controversy and History of HGH in Athletics

HGH is a prescription medication, meaning that its distribution and use without the prescription of a certified doctor is illegal. Use of exogenous GH, via injection, was originally used for medical purposes such as GH deficiency until athletes began abusing GH with the goal of enhancing their abilities and performance. Before recombinant human growth hormone (rHGH) was developed in 1981, cadavers are the only source of HGH. In 1982, the first description of GH use as a doping agent was Dan Duchaine’s “Underground Steroid handbook”; it is not known where and when GH was first used this way. [399] In 1989, the use of anabolic steroids became increasingly popular among Olympic athletes and professional sports players that’s why the International Olympic Committee banned the use of HGH. [400] Although abuse of HGH for athletic purposes is illegal in the U.S., over the past decade it appears that such abuse is present in all levels of sport. [401] This is fueled at least in part by the fact that the use of GH is more difficult to detect than most other performance-enhancing drugs.
According to a report from the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on steroid and GH use, it was found out that the inappropriate use of HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs by professional athletes and entertainers was fuelling the industry peddling these banned substances to the general public for medically inappropriate uses. [402]
Current Status of IGF-1 in Athletics
For the time being, public opinion seems to believe that the use of IGF-1 is comparable to anabolic steroids. IGF-1 is a prohibited substance on the list of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). [403] The WADA Prohibited List bans the use of exogenous IGF-1 and any substance containing IGF-1 in any competition and even out-of-competition. According to the ban, IGF-1 violates the following criteria: [404]
1. It enhances sport performance.
2. It violates the spirit of sport.
For the general public, any form of IGF-1 may be used legally, provided there is a prescription from a qualified medical doctor.

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