Samardzija glad to see HGH testing begin

MESA, Ariz. -- Count Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija as one major league player who feels this spring’s HGH testing is long overdue.

“I am very excited they are testing,” Samardzija said from the team’s minor league camp. “Coming from a background of just being an athlete and playing how you play and doing what you do, you want the playing field to be level for everybody. That is the only way you or the fans know who the best players really are.

“A lot of people work very hard to be the best they can be in this game. You want to know that the game is clean so you can compare yourself to the best in the sport. When you are doing the right testing and looking for the right stuff (HGH), that is the way to do it .”

Major League Baseball will be the first team sport in North America to test for human growth hormone abuse.

“Hopefully there aren’t guys out there doing anything , at least I hope there are not,” said Samardzija, who has been working out in Arizona since November. “That wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do. But I hope that we catch them and we keep this game as clean as possible. Having a clean game will keep the fans involved, too. We don’t want people to think it is a shady sport, so the cleanest we can make it will help us put more fans in the stands and the game will grow.”

Samardzija, who is going into his second full season as a rotation pitcher, says he’s really not aware of who may be cheating when he is on the mound.

“You don’t really think about that during games,” Samardzija said. “The only time it crosses your mind is when you see it on the bottom line (stats). There are a lot of different things that are involved, but it feels better when you beat them if they are on it. It makes you feel good about it, you know.”