News Excerpt
Pardeep Singh, who is a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist, has been handed a provisional four-year suspension after his blood sample tested positive for human Growth Hormone (hGH).

Pre-Connect
What is a Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
•    It is an important hormone produced by your pituitary gland.
•    Also known as growth hormone (GH), it plays a key role in growth, body composition, cell repair, and metabolism.
•    HGH also boosts muscle growth, strength, and exercise performance, while helping you recover from injury and disease.
•    Low HGH levels may decrease your quality of life, increase your risk of disease, and make you gain fat.
•    Optimal levels are especially important during weight loss, injury recovery, and athletic training.

HGH Uses and Abuses
    Synthetic HGH was developed in 1985 and approved by the FDA (Food and drug administration, USA) for specific uses in children and adults.
    In children, HGH injections are approved for treating short stature of unknown cause as well as poor growth due to a number of medical causes, including:
o    Turner's syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects a girl's development
o    Prader-Willi syndrome, an uncommon genetic disorder causing poor muscle tone, low levels of sex hormones, and a constant feeling of hunger
o    Chronic kidney disease
o    HGH deficiency or insufficiency
o    Children born small for gestational age
    In adults, approved uses of HGH include:
o    Short bowel syndrome, a condition in which nutrients are not properly absorbed due to severe intestinal disease or the surgical removal of a large portion of the small intestine
o    HGH deficiency due to rare pituitary tumors or their treatment
o    Muscle-wasting disease associated with HIV/AIDS
    However, some people use the hormone, along with other performance-enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids in an attempt to build muscle and improve athletic performance.
    Yet HGH's effect on athletic performance is unknown.
    Because the body's HGH levels naturally decrease with age, some so-called anti-aging experts have speculated and claimed that HGH products could reverse age-related bodily deterioration. But these claims, too, are unproven.
    Others purchase HGH products -- or products that claim to increase your body's own production of HGH -- in the form of pills and sprays.

HGH Side Effects and Other Hazards
•    Possible side effects of HGH use include:
o    Nerve, muscle, or joint pain
o    Swelling due to fluid in the body's tissues (edema)
o    Carpal tunnel syndrome
o    Numbness and tingling of the skin
o    High cholesterol levels
o    HGH can also increase the risk of diabetes and contribute to the growth of cancerous tumors.
•    Because of the high cost, HGH drugs have been counterfeited.

Highlights
    In a first-of-its-kind case, a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist and reigning national champion weightlifter has tested positive for HGH.
    Pardeep Singh has been handed a provisional four-year suspension after his blood sample tested positive for HGH, which is prohibited in and out of competition by the World Anti- Doping Agency.
    According to the NADA, this is the first instance of an Indian athlete testing positive for HGH.
    Apart from Singh, two athletes who took part in this year’s Khelo India University Games have also tested positive, a weightlifter and boxer.

National Anti-Doping Agency [NADA]
It was established by the Government of India, with the objective of acting as the independent Anti-Doping Organization for India having a vision of dope free sports. The NADA has the necessary authority and responsibility for:
    Planning, coordinating, implementing, monitoring and advocating improvements in Doping Control;
    Cooperating with other relevant national organizations, agencies and other Anti-Doping Organizations;
    Encouraging reciprocal Testing between National Anti-Doping Organizations;
    Promoting anti-doping research;
    Where funding is provided, withholding some or all funding, during any period of his or her ineligibility, to any Athlete or Athlete Support Personnel who has violated anti-doping rules;
    Vigorously pursuing all potential anti-doping rule violations within its jurisdiction including investigating into whether Athlete Support Personnel or other Persons may have been involved in each case of doping.
    Planning, implementing and monitoring anti-doping information and education programs.

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
It was established in 1999 as an international independent agency composed and funded equally by the sport movement and governments of the world.
Its key activities include scientific research, education, development of anti-doping capacities, and monitoring of the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) – the document harmonizing anti-doping policies in all sports and all countries.