Adam Silver: NBA to add HGH blood tests; denies link to Biogenesis
Incoming NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a New York Post report Tuesday morning that the league will look to add HGH blood testing of its players, a policy change that will likely come once the NBPA names a new executive director. Silver, who will replace longtime NBA commissioner David Stern in February, added that he knows it will get done and said the league is “very focused” on bringing about the change for the sake of its players:
“One of the changes that we know we’ll be making to our current drug testing is the addition of HGH testing, which requires taking blood from the players. We want to make sure, on behalf of our players, as well, that’s it’s done in the proper way, and that we understand what are the appropriate baselines for a natural substance, like HGH, so we can detect where there are aberrations. That is something we’re very focused on.”
The news comes at the same time that Silver confirmed in the Post report that the league office is not aware of any potential link between the NBA and the Biogenesis scandal that prompted Major League Baseball to suspend 14 of its own players for having reportedly been clients of the South Florida PED clinic. Silver’s statement refutes the claim made by a former Biogenesis employee who said the list of clients includes players from the NBA, NCAA, boxing, tennis and MMA, and said that although the league will continue to monitor the fallout from the MLB-Biogenesis case, there has been no evidence to suggest any involvement or link between the clinic and NBA players:
“We’ve been actively working to understand the situation and to the extent possible to learn what is being uncovered by MLB’s investigation. We are not aware of any involvement by NBA players.”
The NBA has a 20-game suspension for a first PED offense. A second offense is met with a 45-game suspension and a lifetime ban for a third infraction. NBA players are subject to four random drug tests during the season and two during the offseason. Earlier in August, the NBA suspended Portland Trail Blazers guard Terrel Harris for five games after he was found to be in violation of the league’s Anti-Doping program.