Showing resolve to stamp out drugs

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Countless youths have gained a few years of improved athletic performance at the cost of their health in subsequent years, many inspired by the belief that professional athletes have gotten away with using human growth hormone.

Recent exposure of professional baseball players who have used such drugs has gotten the attention of society, including impressionable high school athletes.

Public education efforts have had an impact on the use of steroids by high school athletes but not to the extent it should. Publicly identifying and shaming users of steroids will likely have a far greater impact.

But still more needs to be done to ensure that the negative consequences of steroid use are almost immediate and outweigh any perception of benefit.

Don Catlin, a scientist dedicated to the fight against performance enhancing drugs, said he has made headway with the $500,000 that Major League Baseball gave him to begin work on finding an effective urine test to detect human growth hormone.

A urine test is thought by some to be years away. If more funding by Major League Baseball can move this date up, then the funding should be forthcoming.