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16th March 2018
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has welcomed a decision by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and its players association (NBAPA) to introduce blood testing for human growth hormone (HGH) from the 2015/16 season. During the 2011 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations in 2011, it was agreed that a process would begin to decide how HGH testing could be introduced to the NBA. The CBA determines player contract rules between the NBA and its franchises.
‘Beginning with the start of the 2015 NBA training camps, all NBA players will be subject to three random, unannounced HGH tests annually (two in-season, one off-season), and players will also be subject to reasonable cause testing for HGH’, read a joint statement. This means that if the NBA has compelling evidence that a player may be using HGH, it can test that player. If a player tests positive for HGH, he will be suspended for 20 games for a first violation and 45 games for a second violation. A third violation will mean disqualification from the NBA.
“By agreeing to testing for HGH, the NBA and NBPA will improve the effectiveness of their anti-doping program and enhance its value in terms of deterrence”, said WADA Director General David Howman in a statement. “WADA commends the measures taken by the NBA and the NBPA in introducing human growth hormone (hGH) blood testing for players at the start of the 2015-2016 season”. WADA said that it looked forward to seeing similar advances in the wider NBA anti-doping programme, and continuing its discussions on that programme in the future.
Ever since a global anti-doping movement formed with the arrival of the World Anti-Doping Agency...