So predicted American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Executive Director John Leonard, ASCA annual Conference in New Orleans, in response to growing suspicion that the use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in youth swimming is on the rise.
According to Craig Lord at SwimVortex.com, Leonard warned about both the risks of supplementation use in the form of energy drinks and the suspected use of HGH “among young athletes in the United States as a consequence of a social fashion among the swimmers’ parents to use drugs forbidden in sport in their pursuit of youthful looks.”
Referencing the “nature of trash” found in the seating area at age meets, including the “high number of empty asthma inhalers” found in the stands, he encouraged coaches to go through the stands after their own local meets to see for themselves if there is evidence of a problem in their sport.
From Swim Vortex.com:
[Leonard] posed a disturbing question: “Did something suddenly [change] 10 or so years ago … because we’re in a place now where we have 4 to 5 times as many genetic freaks as in the past?” He thought not, adding: “In every community in this country, you can get HGH easily.”
“Parents all over the place are taking HGH: it’s the fountain of youth — right up until it kills ya”
“We have a problem: it’s an age group problem being driven by parents who think that if it’s ok for them it’s ok for their kids,” said Leonard.
“This is a game-ender. If we start having parents giving magic bullets to kids, it’s the end of age group swimming as we know it.”