Position Stand on Androgen and Human Growth Hormone Use

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Abstract

Hoffman, JR, Kraemer, WJ, Bhasin, S, Storer, T, Ratamess, NA, Haff, GG, Willoughby, DS, and Rogol, AD. Position stand on Androgen and human growth hormone use. J Strength Cond Res 23(5): S1-S59, 2009-Perceived yet often misunderstood demands of a sport, overt benefits of anabolic drugs, and the inability to be offered any effective alternatives has fueled anabolic drug abuse despite any consequences. Motivational interactions with many situational demands including the desire for improved body image, sport performance, physical function, and body size influence and fuel such negative decisions. Positive countermeasures to deter the abuse of anabolic drugs are complex and yet unclear. Furthermore, anabolic drugs work and the optimized training and nutritional programs needed to cut into the magnitude of improvement mediated by drug abuse require more work, dedication, and preparation on the part of both athletes and coaches alike. Few shortcuts are available to the athlete who desires to train naturally. Historically, the NSCA has placed an emphasis on education to help athletes, coaches, and strength and conditioning professionals become more knowledgeable, highly skilled, and technically trained in their approach to exercise program design and implementation. Optimizing nutritional strategies are a vital interface to help cope with exercise and sport demands (516-518). In addition, research-based supplements will also have to be acknowledged as a strategic set of tools (e.g., protein supplements before and after resistance exercise workout) that can be used in conjunction with optimized nutrition to allow more effective adaptation and recovery from exercise. Resistance exercise is the most effective anabolic form of exercise, and over the past 20 years, the research base for resistance exercise has just started to develop to a significant volume of work to help in the decision-making process in program design (187,248,305). The interface with nutritional strategies has been less studied, yet may yield even greater benefits to the individual athlete in their attempt to train naturally. Nevertheless, these are the 2 domains that require the most attention when trying to optimize the physical adaptations to exercise training without drug use.

Recent surveys indicate that the prevalence of androgen use among adolescents has decreased over the past 10-15 years (154,159,246,253,370,441,493). The decrease in androgen use among these students may be attributed to several factors related to education and viable alternatives (i.e., sport supplements) to substitute for illegal drug use. Although success has been achieved in using peer pressure to educate high school athletes on behaviors designed to reduce the intent to use androgens (206), it has not had the far-reaching effect desired. It would appear that using the people who have the greatest influence on adolescents (coaches and teachers) be the primary focus of the educational program. It becomes imperative that coaches provide realistic training goals for their athletes and understand the difference between normal physiological adaptation to training or that is pharmaceutically enhanced. Only through a stringent coaching certification program will academic institutions be ensured that coaches that they hire will have the minimal knowledge to provide support to their athletes in helping them make the correct choices regarding sport supplements and performance-enhancing drugs.

The NSCA rejects the use of androgens and hGH or any performance-enhancing drugs on the basis of ethics, the ideals of fair play in competition, and concerns for the athlete's health. The NSCA has based this position stand on a critical analysis of the scientific literature evaluating the effects of androgens and human growth hormone on human physiology and performance. The use of anabolic drugs to enhance athletic performance has become a major concern for professional sport organizations, sport governing bodies, and the federal government. It is the belief of the NSCA that through education and research we can mitigate the abuse of androgens and hGH by athletes. Due to the diversity of testosterone-related drugs and molecules, the term androgens is believed to be a more appropriate term for anabolic steroids.

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