Former Phillies Reliever Ryan Madson Makes the Case for HGH Use

Remember Ryan Madson? He was the reliever for the Phillies the last time they were still good. He left the team and almost immediately blew out his arm, requiring Tommy John surgery. Via Deadspin, he makes the case at for letting recovering athletes use human growth hormone to recover from injuries.

Madson, 32 and very much in his prime, just wants to pitch again. And that got him thinking out loud on Tuesday, pondering something taboo, whether Human Growth Hormone — an illegal and banned substance — if allowed, could expedite his return to the mound and help him live up to his contract.

“If HGH were legal,” Madson said, “just in the process of healing, under a doctor’s recommendation, in the right dosage, while you’re on the [disabled list], I don’t think that’s such a bad idea — as long as it doesn’t have any lasting side effects, negative side effects.”

Madson, now with the Angels, says he can come back without HGH, but doesn’t understand why athletes can’t use it to fix injuries.

“But I will still believe, even if I get healthy without that,” Madson added, “that it should be legal, in the right dosage, under supervision, with doctors, for the only purposes to help heal and get players back in the Major Leagues. Because people want to watch them, because of their talents, just to get them back on the field to play. That’s it. I think it would be good for the game; I think it would be good for the fans. Fans want to see the best players play, and they want to see the players that they watch come back from injury and stay back. I think it would be a good thing.”