This is not a conspiracy theory, at least for now, but some things might just as well be said. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated football in every sense and will be talked about for decades to come. The question of who achieved more than the other is always debatable, perhaps inconclusively. However, the fulcrum of the pith in this article is the role of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in Messi’s success. HGH is the substance that was used to cure Messi’s growth hormone disorder, idiopathic short stature. Apparently, to use HGH, Messi (as an athlete) would have needed a therapeutic use exemption (TUE), but the existence of such remains discreet. Would Messi have been world-class without the “drug of choice”, as it is affectionately called in sports circles? Highly unlikely! Isn’t it strange that Caster Semenya, a fellow athlete, has to be brutally scrutinised for her biological configuration, while Messi, a documented HGH medicated athlete, is celebrated? Weird world! Anyway, what is HGH?
HGH: The banned substance
HGH is a prescription medication banned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The substance is commonly abused by weightlifters and endurance sports athletes. This is the drug that Marion Jones admitted to taking before she was stripped of her Sydney 2000 titles, ruining my childhood in the process. The list of offenders is endless. However, it is important to interrogate why this substance is popular.
HGH: The drug of choice
Unless tested within 24 hours of consumption, the substance is undetectable. This is just the beginning! This “medication” will literally transform you. It will improve your energy levels, cardiac function, give you leaner muscle and stronger bones and improve quality of life in general. It gets worse, maybe better! HGH is used at anti-ageing facilities because it restores sagging “bits”, drooping libido, relieves depression and above all it sharpens mental strength. It also accelerates injury recovery. This substance literally creates a new being. I am not trying to say when Messi signed his first contract (on a paper napkin), Barcelona was investing in what could possibly be the greatest ever and most successful laboratory project in sport. All I am saying is that the Messi that is celebrated today owes his development, mostly, to a substance that is banned in Olympic sports. Makes sense?
Black, White and Grey areas…
It is indisputable that Messi’s development in professional football was directly aided by an Olympic-banned substance. It is undisputed that HGH transforms a human being. Black and white, simple! What then is grey? Did Messi have a TUE? Why do Barca staff allegedly refuse to respond to HGH queries? Why was Messi’s condition exclusively handled at Nou Camp? Why does Messi lose his mojo the minute he steps out of Spain? Forgive me but it is difficult to understand how one can score every other free-kick for Barca, yet miss penalties for Argentina. I am not saying anything, I’m just as confused.
More to follow……..
FIFA. (n.d.). Keeping football free from doping. Available: https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/what-we-do/medical/anti-doping/. Last accessed 8th Dec 2019.
Reynolds, G. (2006). Raging Hormones. Available: https://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20hgh.html. Last accessed 7th Dec 2019.
Saugey et al. (2006). Human growth hormone doping in sport. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 40 (1), 35-39.