HGH testing, added in NBA/union joint effort, among topics at Board of Govs

NEW YORK – The agenda items at the NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday and Friday pales, on the excitement scale, next to the start of the league’s 2015 playoffs this weekend. A lot of business-as-usual is on the table, including updates on the potential sale of the Atlanta Hawks and arena developments in Milwaukee, San Francisco and Sacramento.

But one topic sure to generate conversation when NBA commissioner Adam Silver meets with reporters Friday afternoon was the joint announcement by the league and the National Basketball Players Association that blood testing for human growth hormone (HGH) would be added to the anti-drug program starting with next season.

As far back as the 2011 lockout, during the protracted collective bargaining talks, the union and the owners agreed to a process for determining how HGH blood testing would be implemented. That process hit a snag, however – first former commissioner David Stern and then Silver explained that the NBPA’s search for an executive director to replace Billy Hunter precluded further progress on the matter.

With Michele Roberts‘ hiring as NBPA chief in July, however, the work resumed.

Under the plan announced Thursday, beginning with the start of 2015 NBA training camps, all NBA players will be subject to three random, unannounced HGH tests annually (two in-season, one off-season). Players also will be subject to reasonable-cause testing for HGH.

Any player who tests positive would be suspended for 20 games for his first violation and 45 games after his second. A third violation would result in the player being dismissed and disqualified from the NBA.

Among other BOG business, the owners will see a presentation on expansion efforts into youth basketball. Competition-related topics such as scheduling improvements, conference alignment and playoff qualification also was likely to be discussed. Silver has gone on record as wanting to eliminate as many “four in five nights” scheduling challenges as possible to ease players’ workloads, possibly reduce injuries and provide for better competition between more-rested participants.

After the annual spring meeting Friday, the NBA will conduct its tiebreaking process to determine teams’ orders heading toward the May 19 draft lottery.


  1. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Wonder who is going to test positive ?

  2. harriethehawk says:

    What is this, steroids?

    • Raptor4Life says:

      HGH = human growth hormone

      Similar results to anabolic steroids but supposedly less damaging to some internal organs.

      HGH makes a tall, slender “typical” basketball body (or at least a “natural” one) into a much stronger, heavily muscled body that more resembles LeBron James.

      There is a reason that this testing, first discussed in 2011, has been “delayed” for 4 years and counting….
      David Stern, ever the businessman, avoided this issue because he knew it WOULD cause problems. Freakishly superior athletes are good for drawing fans in any sport – think Lance Armstrong and professional cycling. Often when one athlete is so obviously dominant there is a reason…. once in a while it is an honest “freak of nature”, but more often it is a freak of chemical enhancement.
      I think it is ridiculous to have so much emphasis on NBA testing for marijuana (proven NOT to be performance-enhancing) while going out of the way to avoid confronting the HGH issue.
      As always, just my opinion….