- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Federal investigators want Barry Bonds out of baseball, and if they have to use a journeyman reliever to do it, well, that’s just how the game is played.

A 13-man, six-hour search of Jason Grimsley’s Scottsdale, Ariz., home revealed baseball’s latest substance problem: human growth hormone.

Here is where the performance-enhancing drug discussion has inched:

• Human growth hormone, or HGH as the kids call it, is on baseball’s list of banned substances. But there is no reliable test for HGH. The World Anti-Doping Agency is working on it.

• Bonds, knowing investigators wanted Grimsley to wear a wire to gather incriminating evidence against him, is now willing to cooperate with Major League Baseball’s investigation of performance enhancing-drugs, perhaps guessing Bud Selig can hurt him less than the federal government. He is looking for the best possible deal.

• Selig looks pretty smart right now, and that’s saying something. If he can cut a deal with Bonds and stop his chase of Hank Aaron’s home run record, he will be seen as something of a hero, or at least a competent administrator, no matter how far behind he is in the steroid game.

That’s where the discussion is. But that’s not where it should be.

The talk always is about who the cheaters are and how the record books should be adjusted.

The talk, at least this particular one, should be about HGH. What is it? Why would an athlete take it? Are there any side effects? Why is it on the banned list if it is often legally prescribed? The discussion should be about education, not the witch hunt.

Too often, those leading the discussion sound like Mr. Mackey from “South Park”: “Drugs are bad, Mmkay?” Well, not really. Drugs often are good. If you have taken a prescribed drug today, you may understand that.

If you enjoy products that contain caffeine or nicotine, you may be headed down the same slippery slope as Bonds.

Dr. Ronald Klatz should be part of the discussion. He is the author of “Grow Young with HGH” and president of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.

He says it’s a wonder drug. He says it can increase muscle, reduce fat, enhance sexual performance, eliminate cellulite and improve vision and much more — if used properly.

Of course, the Food & Drug Administration isn’t a big fan of Klatz. Some suspect Klatz is a quack, and they should be part of the discussion, too.

The raid on Grimsley’s home moved the discussion. It’s just unclear whether it was in the right direction.

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