Last year my article here on Blogcritics talked about how as the media and sports fans became aware that steroids were a part of many athlete’s preparation, the athletes had already moved on to more advance substances. My point was that athletes were using Human Growth Hormone (HGH), had been using it for awhile and had already moved on to the “next generation” substances.
In particular I discussed IGF-1, a hormone that is produced in the liver as a result of the metabolism of HGH, and that had been in use for a while by body builders. This highly experimental drug is believed to be the most powerful growth factor produced by the body – even more powerful than HGH – and has been studied since the later part of the 1990s.
IGF-1 – which stands for Insulin-like Growth Factor – can produce some amazing results.
Despite the fact that much of the IGF-1 research dealt with lab rats, the results of these murine (lab rat) studies did lead to successful human trials that included children. It is unclear whether these studies can be extrapolated to include success with adults for performance enhancement. Even if there are no legitimate studies to determine if IGF-1 is safe and effective in adults, the fact that these results are “out there” means that people will want to use, and are using, IGF-1.
For going on for 60 years, experimental drugs have regularly become part of the “athletic underground” before working their way into the mainstream. Now that the prizes offered by sports success are more lucrative you can be sure this behavior will continue.
All of this brings me back to the Kirk Radomski case. The New York Times reported that along with the usual illicit substances, Radomski’s cache of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) included not only HGH but IGF-1 as well. When you consider that Radomski’s home was raided and searched back in 2005 this clearly indicates that players have been using the next generation PEDs for at least three years.