HGH, Steroids, and other performance-enhancing drugs and illegal practices aren't enough, now we have a shoe company creating sneakers that artificially improve vertical jump while a player is wearing them. Wait, you say, this is not the first time a company has come out with an aid like this; the LZR Racer swimsuit by Speedo certainly helped swimmers break many world and Olympic records.
Yes it did, and if I am not mistaken, it was banned in its original form (along with adoption of new regulations for swimwear) not long after its Olympic debut by FINA, the governing body for international swimming competition.
So now we have gone from a swimsuit to a shoe with, what...some type of "propulsion device" in the forefoot of the shoe that adds, according to the company, "as much as 3.5 inches of additional vertical leap to athletes wearing the shoes."
How does it work? Well here is what the company writes about that right on its website:
"The Athletic Propulsion Labs Concept 1 Basketball shoe technology is centered around a revolutionary patent-pending propulsion device, which is implanted in a cavity under the forefoot, in front of the ball of the foot and the flex zone. Further back on the outsole of the shoe lies the unique high density Thermosplastic Urethane Load 'N Launch shank, which provides another level of engagement in the compression-propulsion-liftoff response. The propulsion shank provides a level of stability between the forefoot and the heel while also absorbing shock and enhancing the transfer of energy to the Load 'N Launch forefoot device to maximize vertical leap performance."
Hey remember that old Walt Disney film, The Absent-Minded Professor (remake in 1997 with Robin Williams), where a college professor's forgetfulness pays off in the creation of a substance called flubber. It was a rubbery concoction that basketball players from his school put on the bottom of their shoes and used to outperform an opponent with unbelievable jumping feats. Never thought that would become a reality!!!
Geez, what was wrong with using special training shoes and/or appropriate exercises to gain a little more vertical jump and strive to reach one's true potential, not some artificial pretense of one's potential.
The media is grabbing ahold of this with both hands as USA Today recently came out with an informational piece regarding the NBA's take on the product, NBA bans performance-enhancing shoe.
Not sure this performance-enhancement craziness is ever going to end. And you know what, as long as there is big money involved - it probably never will.
It's all about the Benjamins isn't it?