DAVID GRANOVSKY

Stem cell therapy wasn’t unfair help for baseball star – health – 08 June 2011 – New Scientist

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 8, 2011 at 10:55 pm

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BARTOLO COLÓN, a pitcher for the New York Yankees, is at the centre of a Major League Baseball (MLB) investigation after he opted for stem cell therapy to treat an elbow and shoulder injury.

MLB wants to know whether such stem cell treatment qualifies as a performance-enhancing drug. If Colón’s procedure included a dose of human growth hormone – which is banned in baseball – then MLB might have a case. But a New Scientist investigation suggests that the treatment was probably restorative, and does not endow people with “superhuman” powers.

Colón’s professional baseball career began impressively. In 2005 he won the American League Cy Young award for best pitcher. However, that season he partially tore the rotator cuff in his pitching arm, a group of muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder. In the years following the injury, Colón’s rise faltered. He was sidelined in the final two months of the 2009 season and didn’t play at all in 2010. However, after impressive pitching in the 2010 off-season, the Yankees signed the 38-year-old in January this year on a $900,000 contract. Colón is now back in action, pitching at 150 kilometres per hour in MLB games.

What changed? It seems that Colón has grown a new tendon thanks to stem cell therapy…

Stem cell therapy wasn’t unfair help for baseball star – health – 08 June 2011 – New Scientist.

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