"It's an easy ruse. People equate hormones with youth," Dr. Tom Perls, an HGH critic and Boston University researcher, told the AP. "It's a marketing dream come true."

But in the end, that might not be the point. There's no question that virtually every drug Biogenesis sold has been banned by every professional sport in America.

For the first time this year, baseball will check for HGH during the regular season; in the past, only a few offseason tests were employed.

"In the vast majority of leagues, you need therapeutic-use exemptions to even get near testosterone," Assael says. "And HGH is universally banned."

As long as America has elite athletes looking for an edge — a situation that seems unlikely to change in this lifetime — there will be someone like Tony Bosch in the shadows, buying the drugs and concocting the creams and injections to help those athletes try.

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