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The NBA’s Steroid and PED Policy is Let the Good Times Roll

doping in sports is rampant, even basketball

No one in the mainstream media or even independent dares to call out Lebron James for “alleged” PED usage and yet we can see Lebron everyday, playing the same at 33 as he did in his prime.

And let us not forget Lebron’s 33 is an old 33. As soon as the 2017-2018 season ends, he’ll have played 15 seasons in the NBA – with half of those seasons ending in lengthy playoff runs thanks to the cake walk eastern conference.

For context, entering the 2017-2018 season, Lebron had already played 2,000 more minutes (50,399) than Michael Jordan did in his career!

Oh yeah, and there’s this:

Taking 2 weeks off to go to Miami (a notorious steroid ground) during the 2015 season when he was playing like garbage (Bill Simmons and Zach Lowe were too frightened to talk about this, see the linked article)
Losing 30 lbs the summer before the NBA was supposedly going to start testing for HGH (who loses that much muscle on purpose, oh and his narrative of being lighter as he aged gets thrown out the window because he’s supersized himself back to his previous muscular standard)
Allegedly being on the Biogenesis ledger (same place Alex Rodriguez and numerous other athletes got PEDs)
Having surgery to remove a growth from his jaw

Anyways, the circumstantial evidence goes on and on.

But we’ll always have to tag everything as alleged because the NBA’s performance enhancement drug policy is basically don’t let yourself get caught but even if you do, we can clean everything up.

Who’s actually been busted by the National Basketball Association?

All the Orlando guys surrounding Dwight Howard (Jameer Nelson, Rashard Lewis, and Hedo Turkoglu), Don MacLean, Matt Geiger, OJ Mayo, Lindsey Hunter, Darius Miles, Soumaila Samake, and Joakim Noah recently.

Strange that it’s only them, right?

Also, note that the semi-stars up there like Noah and Lewis were busted post prime.

Some more tangible indicators that the NBA has an open PED problem include:

Kobe going to Germany for a stem cell injection procedure
George Karl saying the NBA has a big problem with stars doping in his book
Derrick Rose admitting to there being a huge problem (7 of 10 on the problematic scale) but then retracting it
Mark Cuban is all for HGH and is trying to make it overtly legal in the NBA
Dwyane Wade’s ever expanding jaw (hey, it’s photo evidence even if we don’t have any hard proof)

Also, here’s Tracy McGrady saying he “considered” taking performance enhancers to recover from a knee injury:

What Will Adam Silver Do? Play Kick the Can Forever?

Liberal NBA commissioner Adam Silver will go hard after bathroom bills that have nothing to do with sports but so far he’s been mouse quiet about human growth hormone, at least in terms of actual testing.

The landmark reference on the NBA’s drug testing policy is this ESPN article by Henry Abbott. It contains links to the origin source of the actual policy-policy but Abbott does a nice job providing us a cheatsheet with the key points.

The big takeaways are:

– The NBA polices itself meaning they decide who gets outed as a drug abuser.
– There was no blood testing (blood samples are instrumental to catching human growth hormone users or so I have read) but as of the new policy enlisted in 2015, the NBA supposedly does now test blood
– Micro dopers (eg take tiny amounts of steroids frequently vs. large doses less often) can get away with testing positive because they won’t get detected
– The players effectively get advance notice to where they can avoid being tested if they’re running hot

Other than the Abbott breakdown, there really isn’t a lot of information out there.

The NBA has no interest in outlining, exploring, and digging into this.

Why would they – it’s all downside for them: Either their sacred cash cows get exposed for cheating and everything becomes tainted like it did with MLB or the parade keeps marching on as it is now with no investigative reporting being down by any of the major media outlets.

Remember when the UFC actually incorporated independent WADA testing because fighters were at risk of dying?

Mega stars came crashing down with positive tests: Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Brock Lesnar, and more.

Adam Silver doesn’t want to look down this alley. Yes, performance enhancing drugs completely change the game (despite David Stern’s insistence they wouldn’t make a difference) but it’s for the better for the NBA.

Superstar players last longer, get injured less, stay athletic longer, and have longer lasting primes – all of this leads to more basketball revenue.

Here’s an ESPN discussion on the matter:

“The NBA is dirty like any other sport where the incentives are high.” – Will Cain

So why is the elephant in the room being ignored?

Money, of course.

There will be tons of NBA fans who deny any of this can be true. It happens. It happened with Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and Mark McGwire. It even happened with a notorious Sports Illustrated writer who zealously defended Lance Armstrong for a decade.

But for those of us who can see the obvious, well it’s right there out in the open.

If you like this article, you might also like this one:

Conflict of Interest? Rich Paul, Klutch Sports Agency, and Lebron James: The NBA’s Known Impropriety

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