Researchers are reporting the first scientific evidence that a hormone banned in sports can boost athletic performance.
The improvement from human growth hormone was modest, and only in sprinting. It didn’t increase strength or fitness. Athletes likely to benefit are those in sprint events like running or swimming that require a burst of energy, and where a split second can decide the winner, the Australian researchers said.
Human growth hormone, or HGH, is one of many substances banned by the Olympics and other sports even though there hasn’t been any good proof that it can enhance performance. The new research tested it in about 100 recreational athletes for two months.
“This is the first demonstration that growth hormone improves performance and justifies its ban in sport,” said Dr. Ken Ho, who led the study at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. (AP)