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Adam Silver says NBA not aware of any Biogenesis link, working on HGH testing

Aug 13, 2013, 10:26 AM EDT

NBA Commissioner David Stern Announces Retirement Getty Images

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.

  1. bucrightoff - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    The NBA is the league that needs stars the most, so even if they caught any major names do you really think the league is going to kneecap itself outing them? Please.

    • thomaskouns - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:16 PM

      Excellent point.

      1) Stern covered for Jordan during his 2 year sabbatical for gambling
      2) Silver is Stern’s protege
      3) the NBA being a highly lucrative business dependent on its superstars for marketing purposes (Lebron, Kobe, Mellow, etc).

      It’s entirely plausible Silver knows more than he is letting as every other major sports league has done when the first names surfaced then gotten tough when they knew they had no other choice.

    • willdunk4donuts - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:24 PM

      Until its proven that any ‘PED’ can improve a players ability to shoot jumpers, make layups, dribble, or throw accurate passes, then what does it matter? This isn’t baseball, where guys were able to hit more home runs because they juiced. As far as I’m aware there is no PED that makes an NBA player more talented.

      The main question of PEDs is how they can be used to speed recoveries. Didn’t Ray Lewis have a case related to deer antler spray, and now its conveniently disappeared? Why? I don’t know. But it seems to me, people don’t really care about players using something to recover from an injury. Unless of course, they hate that certain player.

      And from the comments I’ve seen over and over, most people only care because they want some athlete’s accomplishments discredited. If they don’t like Kobe, LeBron or Dwight… they are on PEDs. Its ridiculous.

  2. redsghost - Aug 13, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    No one’s ever looked at LeBron and wondered? His physique seemed to happen fairly quickly and compare his head size to when he first entered the league.

    • fanofthegame79 - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      It’s been over 10 years…..his body is bigger because he’s worked on it. His head (aside from the hair) is the same size. And so is his jaw – go back and look at pictures. This isn’t Barry Bonds and his head growing 2 hat sizes in a year at the age of 40……

      • Carlos Freytes Jr. - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        He’s had a growth removed from that jaw. Don’t be naive.

      • redsghost - Aug 13, 2013 at 6:24 PM

        I didn’t say he was on anything, I simply said ” haven’t you wondered”. The rapidity of his body growth in a short period ( 1, 2, or 3 years, not 10) makes you wonder, and his head DOES look larger. Again, I’m not making a case for growth products, just saying that IF it was indeed prevalent in the NBA, I’d take a peek at him.

      • fanofthegame79 - Aug 13, 2013 at 6:57 PM

        I hear ya, didn’t mean to offend you if I did. I think that his body has grown in step with the time he’s been in the league.

  3. Kevin S. - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    HGH testing is PR hooey. HGH provides no benefits to healthy athletes.

    • thomaskouns - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Then why do so many take it?

      • Kevin S. - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        Same reason they wear those stupid Phiten necklaces and magnetic balance bracelets and the same underwear every day during a winning streak – athletes will try anything and everything that they hear somewhere will help them gain an edge, regardless of how much evidence there is against it.

        Also, testing is kind of a waste of time because HGH metabolizes within hours. You’d have to get the player the same day he dosed. Maybe the next morning.

  4. dirtydavis - Aug 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    KObe better retire soon

    • nikosvault - Aug 14, 2013 at 3:54 AM

      No, Lebron needs to retire.

  5. jadaruler - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    To think no one in the NBA is using HGH or any other PED is being naive. HGH helps with provide lean muscle, energy, and quick recovery from workouts. Tell me any athlete that doesn’t need those things.

    • kinggw - Aug 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      What’s naive is thinking that PEDs make a significant difference for NBA players. Assuming your argument rings true and im not sure it does, how exactly does additional lean muscle help make someone a better player. It doesnt help them shoot better. It doesn’t help their basketball IQ, it doesn’t help players know where to be without the ball. Tyrus Thomas, Jan Vesely, Gerald Green and Shannon Brown are among the best athletes in the league, yet they are all marginal players. Possessing superior athleticism doesn’t make you a good player and taking a few drugs doesn’t make you a superior athlete.

      The NBA isnt cycling or track and field. The outcome of those sports are often determined by tenths of a second and in those sports HGH or PEDs make a difference. I challenge you to provide a valid example of how any PEDs are being utilized by NBA players and how its positively affected their performance. If you find a correlation between additional lean muscle and improved performance on the court I would happily change my stance, but I dont think there is such a correlation.

  6. akronhatesyoulechoke - Aug 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    I would bet my eyes LBJ is on it.

  7. thibbledorfpwent - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    Fine I won’t tell you any athlete doesn’t need those things. Tell me a rational, logical reason as to why we shouldn’t allow athletes to use those things – other then the childish “but mama Drugs is bad!” We draw an arbitrary line, and don’t even say no form of PED is illegal, just the ones we say are bad. What a ridiculous conclusion, shouldn’t we be celebrating the scientists and doctors who find new ways to enhance and improve the human body, rather then damning them and their work because the people who use their discoveries use it to play a game better? What a load

  8. thomaskouns - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    It’s entirely plausible that Adam Silver is covering for star player’s as this league is marketed through their ‘star’ players (Lebron, Mellow, Kobe, etc) and if one came up ‘positive’ it could be devastating for the league financially….

    1) Stern ‘covered’ for MJ’s gambling issues when he took a 2 year sabbatical from the league
    2) Silver is Stern’s protégé
    3) The league has ‘a lot’ at stake if it ever came out that one of their star player’s who may or may not have been using PEDS was on a championship team

    The league exists because it is very profitable and like all the other major professional sports, they may turn a blind eye like all the other until they are forced to confront the situation.

    PS: I wrote this post earlier and like s few other posts on this site it suddenly disappeared from the posts & site within about a half-an-hour….

    • thomaskouns - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      then reappeared….

  9. Carlos Freytes Jr. - Aug 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    There was no PED testing in the NBA in the 90s. As far as I’m concerned, every great player of the last 25 years probably used PEDs.

    But I don’t care.

    If you watch sports and are a grown up and you still don’t think that at least 30% of the athletes you’re watching are using PEDs, then you’re being naive. Why does it bother you if they are using? Were you not entertained by that home run or diving catch or alley-oop? Was the NBA Finals this year not some of the most amazing, beautiful basketball you’ve ever seen?

    If Dwyane Wade or Kobe or LeBron or Adrian Peterson or Mike Trout or A-Rod use PEDs to achieve greatness, does that make what you saw that much less amazing?

  10. sabatimus - Aug 13, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Sir I am unaware of any such activity. Nor would I be *ahem* disposed to discuss such activity if it did indeed exist, sir.

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