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Dan Hardy sponsored by HGH InFusion at UFC 95 – will anyone in the media notice or care?

By Zach Arnold | February 22, 2009

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With the Alex Rodriguez debacle in baseball over steroid usage (primabolan, testosterone levels), what exquisite timing it was to see Dan Hardy being openly sponsored by HGH Infusion at UFC 95. (His other sponsors were Tapout and Pirahna Water.)

So, what is HGH Infusion? According to its manufacturers, it’s “homeopathic growth hormone” as opposed to, well, normal old Human Growth Hormone. Take a look at their marketing pitch:

The HGH InFusion product contains high-grade Somatotropin, which is something that the company boasts on their corporate web site.

On Friday, we posted an article from Gabriel Shapiro on the issue of performance-enhancing drugs in sports (particularly in MMA) and what should or shouldn’t be done about such usage. We know that in the past that UFC has approved/disapproved of certain sponsorships for fighters, so I find it a little curious that given the heat someone like Alex Rodriguez is taking that they allowed Hardy to be sponsored by HGH InFusion, which is an American operation. Plus, UFC does their own drug testing for foreign events. While not stating on the telecast that Hardy was sponsored by HGH InFusion, UFC didn’t negate the sponsorship and they did not bother to censor or pixelate the HGH InFusion logo on TV when displayed on television.

Some questions that should be asked to the parties involved:

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 25 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

25 Responses to “Dan Hardy sponsored by HGH InFusion at UFC 95 – will anyone in the media notice or care?”

  1. Bob says:

    Zach,

    The product has 10x and 30x HGH. In homeopathy that means a 10^10 dilution and a 10^30 dilution.

    So, if 1 gram of GH was added to the initial solution: a 10^10 dilution would result in a concentration of 100 picograms or (.1 nanogram).

    Normal levels of GH can vary- pulsatile peaks (during sleep or after a sprint) can reach >40 ng/ml – basal levels of GH are typically greater than 1 ng/ml.

    So, if one were to ingest .1ng of GH (not even factoring in digestion/metabolism issues) and assuming equal distribution in the blood (say 5 liters blood volume); then the GH in the blood would be around 20 femtograms (20 x 10^-15 grams/ml). So, if the basal level was 1ng/ml after the infusion then the reading would be 1.00002 ng/ml which is well beyond most analytical technique level of sensitivity. The 30x would be another 10^20 times more dilute.

    I agree with your perspective (good point that homeopathy has more of following in the UK than over here).

  2. MMA Fan says:

    its NOT real HGH.. they just have a loop hole to allow that to be sold as an enhancer… its really not HGH.

    That said its moronic UFC would allow that.

  3. skwirrl says:

    Soooo… Basically you’re saying that its utterly useless then and I’d do better at raising my GH levels by having some vigorous, me-time, with a photo of Star Jones from the view. (Wouldn’t wanna make it too easy)

  4. Chuck says:

    Homeopathy is just a synonym for “useless” and “doesn’t work”. And Zach, you know better than most that the only way to test for HGH (for now) is a blood test. So even if Hardy uses it there isn’t much of a way Zuffa would be able to catch him doing it. Anymore it’s easier to catch someone blood doping than it is to catch someone doing HGH.

  5. mike mersch with the ufc overlooks this kinda stuff for them, and you think that even though it may be something that is legal, the PR fallout would lead them to nix this sponsorship.

    but like you said who will notice or care…or want to risk their credentials making a stink about it?

  6. Iain says:

    The idea that journalists wouldn’t want to risk their future credentials by writing about controversial topics is a bizarre one.

    There’s no way any professional would let it interfere with their articles. Bloggers etc maybe, but the UK UFC shows actually attract legitimate writers fron national papers and thought it wanted coverage then it would get it.

    In this case I just don’t think it does.

  7. samscaff says:

    Taking growth hormone orally would not work. Any growth hormone ingested orally would by digested. Its a scam.

  8. Dave says:

    Honestly, I doubt that the media will notice. I think eventually it’ll get back to Dana & Co. and we won’t ever see said sponsor again, though.

  9. Rollo the Cat says:

    First, Homeopathy isn’t useless. It is tough to defend, but that doesn’t mean it is useless.

    Second, according to any lab analysis, there is NO HGH in that formula. Period.

    Third, usually, homeopathy involves using a substance that would have the same NEGATIVE effect as the user is experiencing. So, if you had a frontal headache, you would take a homeopathic dilution of some substance that in a measurable quantities, would cause a headache.

    Much ado about nothing.

  10. Patrick says:

    You could drink 10 bottles of that modern day snake oil and get no effects.. and the price, $79?!?!

    Memo to Zach,

    Go into ‘homeopathics’ and you’ll sell enough product to people who don’t know any better to never have to worry about site hosting again.

  11. Matt says:

    Homeopathy is pure 100% bunk. If anything, Hardy should be penalised for falling for that shit.

    James Randi, famous skeptic, imbibed 32 homeopathic sleeping pills before a conference at TED to illustrate the bunkitude of it.

  12. Chuck says:

    James Randi is the man! No one to this day has ever beaten his one million dollar challenge to prove their bullshit claims are for real. It’s funny that some of the judges for his challenge are homeopathy guys.

  13. Ivan Trembow says:

    “The idea that journalists wouldn’t want to risk their future credentials by writing about controversial topics is a bizarre one.”

    If only that were the case. Also, I don’t think the point is whether HGH Infusion works well or is a rip-off; I think the point is that HGH supplements are banned substances and Hardy was sponsored by one of them.

  14. Rohan says:

    Indeed as others have said it is essentially a sugar pill with no active ingredient.

    But you have to do some digging to find that out – having a banner for something that looks a hell of a lot like HGH on your TV is stupid.

  15. Rollo the Cat says:

    “If only that were the case. Also, I don’t think the point is whether HGH Infusion works well or is a rip-off; I think the point is that HGH supplements are banned substances and Hardy was sponsored by one of them.”

    No, the point is that there is no HGH at any detectible level in that product. It is not a banned substance.

    Whether or not it works is debatable, but it is not illegal.

  16. Iain says:

    “The idea that journalists wouldn’t want to risk their future credentials by writing about controversial topics is a bizarre one.”

    If only that were the case.”

    In the UK, the UFC press is mixture of internet folk and actual national journalists. The former would obviously fawn over anything Zuffa-related and try to ensure they still get tickets but the latter have no reason to do so. Setanta basically act as a PR machine for them but in much the same way Spike do in the US I would imagine.

    If something bad happened at a UFC show in the UK it would get a large amount of negative coverage. This HGH thing just isn’t a story the nationals would have any interest in.

    I completely understand however that a number of fake journalists / bloggers just bow to Dana’s feet and mindlessly accept what he tells them.

  17. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    This is like that beverage called “cocaine” you can call something by a name, that doesn’t mean that it is actually what the name would normally indicate that it is.

    If tests show it doesn’t have any human growth hormone in it, then it’s kind of a moot point.

  18. The Gaijin says:

    Yeah, but I highly doubt any athlete would be looked fondly upon if they “publicly endorsed” Cocaine either…

  19. Steve says:

    I expect HGH Infusion to announce sponsorships with Team Quest, Extreme Couture, Team Punishment and ATT in the near future.

  20. Ivan Trembow says:

    Coming soon on fighters’ shorts: “EPO Explosion!” and “Deca Delight!”

  21. […] to see that HGH InFusion had 1.6 million eyeballs watching their sponsorship of Dan Hardy pay off without any media criticism in MMA circles. Because, you know, nobody in the […]

  22. Brian says:

    HGH Infusion is not a banned substance and can be purchased over the counter at many nutrition stores including GNC. It’s a homeopathic growth hormone that has no known side effects.

    Also HGH Infusion has been tested by some of the best scientists in the field. If you conduct your own research I’m sure you will come to the the same conclusion the UFC and other promotions have.

  23. tony says:

    I find it a little curious that given the heat someone like Alex Rodriguez is taking that they allowed Hardy to be sponsored by HGH InFusion, which is an American operation. Plus, UFC does their own drug testing for foreign events.

  24. […] Hardy always seems to pick interesting sponsors. (Remember this growth hormone sponsor in the past?) He’s now aligned with Xyience. Yes, the same Xyience that has a bankruptcy […]

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