How ironic that after all the high-profile on-field antics that might have earned a career-threatening ban for Terry Newton, it a supposedly undetectable drug that finally trips up the controversial hooker.
HGH has long been hailed as the magic elixir for athletes seeking to allay the ravages of injury or age, or just to bulk up and build strength, prime amongst its qualities was that it was undetectable without elaborate and expensive blood testing. Testing that was outside the remit of most sports’ drugs testing policies.
There’s a very human tale in the pressures that led to Newton going down this route and I suspect ‘cheating’ is the least of his reasons.
It may be small consolation but Newton’s name is being heard far and wide in the sports world; the first athlete to be tested positive for HGH (Reuters).
How far? How wide?
Well I listen to US sports radio a lot, streaming via the internet, and I was surprised to hear Newton’s name mentioned in new flashes on both Boston’s 850 WEEI (www.weei.com) and 98.5 The Sports Hub during a few hours listening on Tuesday evening. He even got a mention in a brief on air discussion about the impact such testing might have in American sports, where the use is ‘presumed’ to more prevalent; as an aid to rapid recovery and to boosting muscle mass.
Take a bow Terry. You’ve earned global infamy and taken the rugby brand into the hitherto relatively uncharted territory of American sports talk radio.