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Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research fellow Dr Richard Williams believes sports scientists have been using peptides as a “cheeky” way to get around drug tests in sport.
This follows the Australian Crime Commission report released in Canberra today that says the use of peptides in professional sport is widespread.
“Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a protein hormone secreted by the pituitary gland," Dr Williams said.
“You can also inject it directly into your body to get the effects of improved skin or muscle repair.
“Obviously, if you are a sportsperson, you can’t do that, because it is on the banned substance list. However, in the body, HGH production is governed by another set of peptide hormones.
“So what they are doing is cheeky; by making the functional peptide sequences of this second type, purifying them, and giving them to the players they are using these unregulated compounds to get the extra production of HGH.
“Technically it is not against the anti-doping rules, but it is against the spirit of sport.”