HARRISBURG – November 22, 2019 – State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today announced a Senate resolution condemning the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes and rebuking any organization that knowingly allows or encourages athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs.
“This conversation is long overdue,” Leach said. “Steroid use is rampant in strongman competitions, in powerlifting and bodybuilding competitions, and other similar events. It’s a prevalent problem and it’s time we take it seriously. That’s why I’m introducing a resolution condemning the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes and rebuking any organization that knowingly allows and encourages their athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs. Too many of our children are being left with the impression that they have to turn to doping to succeed in professional sports or improve their game – that’s not the case and we need to make that point now.”
The use of performance-enhancing drugs, also known as doping, is on the rise in young athletes. Often that’s because many of these young athletes are motivated by the incorrect belief that professional athletes dope to succeed. Some existing organizations – such as World Wrestling Entertainment, the Arnold Sports Festival and Arnold Classic, and IMG’s World’s Strongest Man – allow and encourage their athletes to use performance-enhancing drugs, and as a result, doping has become legitimized in the minds of many younger athletes.
Performance-enhancing drugs pose serious health risks, such as the increased chance of suffering a heart attack or stroke, developing liver and other cancers and triggering mood and hormonal imbalances. Unfortunately some younger athletes continue to ignore the dire risks associated with doping.
“The resolution Senator Leach is sponsoring is a crucial piece of legislation that calls out those individuals and organizations that promote, glorify and/or sponsor the use of steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing drugs,” Founder of Protect Our Youth from Steroids Al Thompson said. “It is the duty of elected officials and the media to keep the public aware of these actors who are operating in the dark world of steroids and covet our youth to join that world. This legislation is a big part of acting on that responsibility. Education about PEDs for our coaches, athletic directors, parents, elected officials and the media is also a big part of pushing back against steroid use.”
Leach’s resolution also urges the Pennsylvania Department of Education to notify public and private schools in Pennsylvania of the adoption of this resolution and urge that all high school and college coaches and athletic directors educate themselves and their athletes about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs.
Researchers with the American Academy of Pediatrics examined the use of substances from energy drinks to steroids in middle and high school students. Their study, published here, found that student athletes report using these drugs not only to gain a competitive edge, but also simply to supplement their looks. Five percent of students reported using the most dangerous of the drugs – anabolic androgenic steroids and human growth hormone (HGH), and nearly seven percent of students report trying anabolic steroids at least once. Additionally, new research shows that high schoolers are increasingly using performance-enhancing drugs. According to one survey, the use of synthetic human growth hormone among high school students more than doubled over one year, from five percent to 11 percent.
Senator Daylin Leach represents the 17th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Montgomery County and Delaware County. For more information visit www.senatorleach.com/newsroom.