Mark Cuban is no stranger to controversy. With recent comments about the NFL, the Dallas Mavericks owner tends to stay in the headlines. It seems the trend continues with new statements made prior to the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers game. Cuban has expressed interest in financially supporting a university study of Human Growth Hormones and injured athletes.
Before a crowded audience of fans and the media in Los Angeles, more insight was given by Cuban of his proposal to conduct a two year study of the effects of HGH if given and applied to injured players during the course of their recovery. The NBA owner believes the procedure can help retain muscle loss from operations and rehab. With a controlled study in a environment monitored closely, the university can confirm whether HGH can indeed help accelerate the recovery rate of the injured player. Cuban continued to show his interest on finding the truth and reality of the matter and to eliminate any myths that are considered fact in the NBA world.
The current policy under the NBA does not allow players to take performance enhancing substances. Fines and suspensions have been handed down to any of the players who test positive during scheduled and random drug testing. While Mark Cuban is known to take risks in the business world, the same sentiment may not be expressed in the basketball offices with newly appointed commissioner Adam Silver.
Studies have linked HGH abuse to nerve pain, elevated blood pressure, joint swelling, and diabetes as some of the minor side effects. In severe cases, heart failure and several types of cancer have also been connected. The concern of abuse exists around the organization, but the potential for shorten recovery time by monitoring dosage given to injured players may be soon realized.
While the study needs approval by both the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Health and Drug Administration, it did not deter the multiple universities submitting proposals to Mark Cuban. It is still uncertain whether or not a university has already been chosen to conduct the study or if request has been already submitted to the DEA and HDA. It is also uncertain regardless of the study, if current acting NBA commissioner Adam Silver would even consider allowing Human Growth Hormones as a possibility for players to use.
Former commissioner David Stern has already shown detest towards athletic performance enhancers as he pushed for more strict testing during his final active year. Silver has also stated that the NBA is committed to HGH testing, so Mark Cuban would have to show more than enough evidence and studies to support the health benefits to bring the discussion on the table. The Shark Tank host might have to do a bit of baiting himself, but that should be no problem for the wily billionaire and the future of athletics health is definitely what Mark Cuban wants to sink his teeth into.
Commentary by Hector Carrion