From an Associated Press press article today, on ex-major leaguer player Fernando Vina admitting to using Human Growth Hormone:
Slow to recover from knee and hamstring injuries, Vina played only 61 games for the Cardinals in 2003. He said he was under pressure from the team and himself to get back on the field, so he tried HGH.
''I tried everything rehabbing,'' Vina said. ''I came to a point that I was desperate.''
Backup catcher Gary Bennett, also named by Mitchell, said he took HGH in 2003 because of a knee injury. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
At 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Vina said he wasn't trying to bulk up -- his job was to slap the ball around and use his quickness to get on base. He said he turned to HGH hoping to get healthy.
''Was it right? No. Obviously, it was wrong,'' Vina said. ''I'm embarrassed by it.''
Can someone tell me why Vina said "obviously, it was wrong"?
Let's assume, for a moment, that what Vina said was true--that he only took HGH because he was trying to recover from an injury. Let's assume the same of Pettitte and Bennett. I think we can also agree that there is reasonable evidence that Human Growth Hormone speeds recovery.
So what, exactly, is wrong with an athlete--someone who makes a living with their body--taking medication to speed their recovery from injury? Is it wrong to take ibruprofen? Is it wrong to ice a sore elbow? For that matter, is it ethical or even legal for Major League Baseball--or indeed any employee or governing body--to deny an employee access to a potentially beneficial medical treatment?
The closest analogy I can think of here is to medical marijuana, which is another case where it seems difficult for some people in positions of power to understand that a drug can be used for more than one purpose.