Recently Porter Fischer — the central leaker in the Biogenesis case that has rocked Major League Baseball and led to multiple suspensions of major stars — came out and said this wasn’t just a baseball situation, players from other sports used the clinic as well. Including the NBA. However he did not name names.
Adam Silver, the NBA’s Commissioner in waiting (he takes over when David Stern steps down in Feb. 1), said the league is looking into this case but has found nothing, during a conversation with the New York Post.
“We’ve been actively working to understand the situation and to the extent possible to learn what is being uncovered by MLB’s investigation,” Silver said. “We are not aware of any involvement by NBA players.”
Maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is that Fischer and pretty much everyone tied to Biogenesis are not exactly the kind of guys an attorney wants to put on a witness stand, they have plenty of their own dirt. But they kept very detailed records to cover themselves, including texts and emails.
To me, in the broader picture, it’s hard to imagine there are not some NBA players using designer PEDs. The simple fact is we are talking about athletes looking for an edge to help them earn multi-million dollar contracts and people will go to great lengths to do that. The idea that some people would not use a banned substance to help them recover from injury faster or bounce back better on four games in five nights is naïve at best.
The NBA still feels behind the curve on its testing (players are tested six times a year for more standard PEDs).
The NBA still does not test for HGH, and like Stern before him Silver said he wants that to change.
“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,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver told The Post last week. “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.”
That change likely does not come until the NBA players union hires a new executive director to replace the ousted Billy Hunter. Because it is blood testing there needs to be negotiations with the union on this. A lot of players want this (at least the clean ones) and it will get done. Eventually.
But right now the NBA can continue to say this is not a major issue in their sport because only a handful of role players have ever really tested positive.