23 Feb 2010

First athlete in the world suspended for using Human Growth Hormone

6:52 pm on 23 February 2010

A British rugby league player has become the first athlete in the world to be suspended for using human growth hormone.

The former international hooker Terry Newton has admitted usng the substance in a statement from his lawyer.

The United Kingdom Anti-Doping authority given Newton a two year ban after he was sacked by his club.

The director of the World Anti Doping Agency, David Howman says it shows people who say that HGH can't be detected are fooling themselves.

Tests had previously been unable to detect HGH as it leaves the system quickly.

Howman says the test has been around since the 2004 Athens Olympics, but it hasn't been available to every laboratory in the world and the process was only fully introduced at the 2008 Beijing Games.

By acting on the liver and other tissues, HGH increases bone growth and plays a key role in muscle and organ growth.