Am. Col. of Sports Med. re: steroids


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Am. Col. of Sports Med. re: steroids

Postby Speedplay » Thu Oct 23, 2003 12:58 pm

>From ACSM:

October 23, 2003

For immediate release


STEROIDS THREATEN HEALTH OF ATHLETES AND INTEGRITY OF SPORTS PERFORMANCE



American College of Sports Medicine Calls for Increased Vigilance in
Identifying and Eradicating Steroid Use



INDIANAPOLIS ? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) today
condemned the development and use of new “designer” steroids. ACSM
considers chemicals, such as the recently identified
Tetrahydrogestrinone, or THG, developed and
cloaked to avoid detection by doping tests, as serious threats to the
health and safety of athletes,
as well as detriments to the principle of fair play in sports. Any
effort to veil or disguise
steroid use in sports through stealth, designer, or precursor means,
puts elite, amateur and even
recreational athletes at risk.


The health risks associated with steroid use are severe. Anabolic
steroid use has been implicated
in early heart disease, including sudden death, the increase of bad
cholesterol profiles (increased
LDL, lower HDL), an increase in tendon injuries, liver tumors,
testicular atrophy, gynecomastia
(abnormal enlargement of breasts in males), male
pattern baldness, severe acne, premature closure of growth plates in
adolescents, emotional
disturbances and other significant health risks. The health risks of
designer steroids compared to
or beyond symptoms of anabolic steroid use are currently unknown.


“No one knows the extent of this yet,” said Gary I. Wadler, M.D., FACSM.
“If there is one great
concern that THG has exposed, it’s the potential that other
non-detectable anabolic steroids may be
in the pipeline. The scientific and public health implications of this
issue
are quite disconcerting.” Wadler, an ACSM sports medicine physician who
serves on the Health,
Medical and Research Committee of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)
and is a leading international
authority on doping in sports, says the appearance of these new drugs
and their use models dangerous
behavior, potentially causing physical and psychological damage to young
athletes.


ACSM calls for national compliance with the United States Anti-Doping
Agency (USADA) regulations and
to the World Anti-doping Code. Further, the College stresses the need
for “clean” athletes, those
not taking performance-enhancing drugs or supplements, to publicly
deplore the use of steroids among
their teammates and peers. ACSM underscores the critical leadership
role clean athletes can take in
disavowing performance-enhancing drug use and advocating fair play to
protect the integrity of
sports competition. Other individuals who influence young athletes,
such as parents and coaches,
should establish a no-tolerance policy for performance-enhancing
substances, and intervene whenever
necessary.


In the past 20 years, sports governing bodies have made substantial
efforts to eradicate steroid
use. Drug testing implemented by the National Collegiate Athletic
Association, for example, has
been instrumental in decreasing the use of steroids among college
athletes. Last year, ACSM called
for mandatory testing for steroid use in Major League Baseball. (ACSM’s
Position Stand, “The Use of
Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids in Sports,” ACSM condemns the use of these
drugs among athletes. To
read a copy of this Position Stand, please visit
http://www.acsm-msse.org). Yet, information
gathered very recently, over just the past few years, indicates an
upward trend in steroid use among
amateur athletes at the college and even high school levels.


ACSM will conduct a national news teleconference, Friday, October 24,
2003 at 1:00 p.m. EDT to
address the issues of athlete health, the importance of fair play, and
the call for increased
vigilance on the part of athletes, coaches, parents, and others.
Participants will include Wadler,
ACSM President-elect William O. Roberts, M.D., FACSM,
and Andrew Pipe, M.D., FACSM, Chairman of the Canadian Center for Ethics
in Sport.



The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine
and exercise science
organization in the world. More than 20,000 International, National,
and Regional members are
dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide
educational and practical
applications of exercise science and sports medicine.


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