McKinney, Texas (Thursday, February 20, 2020) – The Taylor Hooton Foundation announced today its continued national partnership with the Professional Baseball Strength & Conditioning Society (PBSCCS) which will endorse—as well as financially support—the Foundation’s mission of enlightening people to the truth about Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances.  

“It is tremendously gratifying to know the Foundation and its education efforts have the full support of these outstanding strength and conditioning coaches who are at the highest level of professional sports,” said Taylor Hooton Foundation President Donald Hooton. “Working closely with major-league players, the strength and conditioning coaches will bring a unique perspective to our message that young people can achieve all of their physical goals by doing things the right way without the use of performance enhancing drugs.”

Said PBSCCS President Matthew Krause: “As strength and conditioning coaches who work to keep elite athletes in top physical condition, this is a perfect partnership for us. Like the Taylor Hooton Foundation, we, too, believe that success can be achieved without the use of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances. We’re proud to be a part of the Foundation’s educational initiatives.”

As part of the partnership, the PBSCCS will—for the third straight year—sponsor the Foundation’s ALL ME® T-shirts which will be distributed during Spring Training and worn by MLB’s strength and conditioning coaches as well as by major-league players. In 2019, a record 42 players stepped up to serve as role models and be members of the Foundation’s MLB “Advisory Board.”

With the PBSCCS logo and on the left sleeve, the T-shirts will feature the Foundation’s trademarked “ALL ME” branding—as well as its 2020 message “No Shortcut to Home Plate”—on the front. The back of the shirt will display the motivational quote “I Stand with the Taylor Hooton Foundation” along with the Foundation’s logo and #ALLMEPEDFREE.

The sponsorship of the T-shirts will help to underwrite the Taylor Hooton Foundation’s annual tour of spring-training camps for meetings with its MLB “Advisory Board” members.  This will help the Foundation to deliver additional education programs across the United States.

To date, the Taylor Hooton Foundation has spoken to and educated over two-million people. It has a Latin American outreach and travels throughout the Caribbean, speaking to thousands of RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) athletes, coaches and parents in partnership with Major League Baseball. Additionally, the THF introduced a new eLearning program in 2014 – narrated by Bob Costas – to Little League Baseball that is offered to its one-million adult coaches and other volunteers.

2020 Members of the Foundation’s “Advisory Board” include:

Jake Arrieta (Philadelphia Phillies)

Elvis Andrus (Texas Rangers)

Jose Berrios (Minnesota Twins)

Charlie Blackmon (Colorado Rockies)

Matthew Boyd (Detroit Tigers)

Jay Bruce (Philadelphia Phillies)

Matt Carpenter (St. Louis Cardinals)

Curt Casali (Cincinnati Reds)

Adam Duvall (Atlanta Braves)

Eduardo Escobar (Arizona Diamondbacks)

Brett Gardner (New York Yankees)

Ken Giles (Toronto Blue Jays)

Lucas Giolito (Chicago White Sox)

Alex Gordon (Kansas City Royals)

J.A. Happ (New York Yankees)

Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs)

Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Trey Mancini (Baltimore Orioles)

Nick Markakis (Atlanta Braves)

James McCann (Chicago White Sox)

Mark Melancon (Atlanta Braves)

Aaron Nola (Philadelphia Phillies)

Josh Reddick (Houston Astros)

Anthony Rendon (Los Angeles Angels)

Amed Rosario (New York Mets)

Chris Sale (Boston Red Sox)

Marcus Semien (Oakland Athletics)

Matt Shoemaker (Toronto Blue Jays)

Jameson Taillon (Pittsburgh Pirates)

Tony Watson (San Francisco Giants)

Christian Yelich (Milwaukee Brewers)

Mike Zunino (Tampa Bay Rays)


CONTACT:   Rick Cerrone / Rick Cerrone Communications

(914) 715-5491 /


About The Taylor Hooton Foundation: The Taylor Hooton Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to enlightening people to the truths about Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances. The friends and family of Taylor Hooton formed the Foundation in 2004 after his untimely death at 17 years old following his use of anabolic steroids.

For more information about the Taylor Hooton Foundation and its efforts, please visit and

For more information about the Professional Baseball Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society please visit

Sheriff’s Office suspends 8 deputies for using, selling steroids

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office opens an investigation and suspends eight of its deputies following reports of employees using, distributing and selling steroids. Those involved are with the detention bureau, the sheriff’s office says. This includes two corporals.

The sheriff’s office identifies the detention deputies involved as a 27-year-old man, employed with the department for four years, a 28-year-old man, employed with the department for four-and-one-half years, a 40-year-old man, with the department for 16 years, a 27-year-old man, with the department for six-and-one-half years, a 29-year-old man, with the department for three years, a 46-year-old man, employed with the department for 15 years, a 28-year-old man, with the department for 3 years and a 25-year-old woman, with the department for three years.

Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter says the illegal activity had been going on for about a year, outside the Sedgwick County Jail and that it doesn’t appear that any illegal steroids were brought into the facility.

Easter says from his department’s investigation, it appears three of those involved sold the illegal steroids.

The eight deputies involved are suspended with pay, pending the outcome of charges, Easter says. He says the case was presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office to determine possible charges.

Man dies of massive heart attack after consuming 4 energy drinks per day

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Mothers know best. So why don’t we always listen to our moms when they advise us on certain things?

When Shani Clarke saw her 35-year-old son, Michael Clarke, cleaning out his truck she mentioned his large collection of energy drinks, but he shrugged her off and that was the end of their conversation.

Weeks later, the truck driver was found slumped over in his vehicle. He had suffered a massive heart attack, which was later determined to be caused by caffeine toxicity.

“I can’t tell you the pain I felt at that moment, my heart just hit the floor and I sobbed and sobbed,” Shani wrote on Facebook.

In the weeks leading up to Michael’s January 2014 death, Shani, of Perth Australia, first took notice of her son’s caffeine consumption.

“He was cleaning his truck out and I saw he had an armful of the big cans of Mother and I said ‘I hope you’re not drinking too many of them in one go’ which he just shrugged off as we mums know nothing, I didn’t think much more of it at the time,” she said.

Mother is an energy drink sold in Australia and New Zealand.

It was only after his death that she began to put the pieces together. Shortly before his death her son complained of indigestion the concerned mother told ABC News.

“The coroner said the indigestion could have been mistaken for a mild heart attack,” she said.

She also realized that Michael would purchase four-packs of Mother energy drinks, which contain 160mg of caffeine per can – the FDA recommends no more than 400 mg per day – and then drink several cups of coffee when he came home.

Following her son’s sudden death, Shani wanted to make sure others were aware of the potential dangers of caffeine. She created a Facebook group, Caffeine Toxicity Death Awareness.

According to The Epoch Times, members of the group discuss their addiction, while others seeks to bring awareness to the issue.

Even though Michael passed away in 2014, Shani is still working hard to inform people about caffeine toxicity. In 2018, she had a conversation with a woman who drank Red Bull every day.

“Things ALWAYS happen for a reason, my back has been bad this week so got a dog wash lady to come round … and of course the caffeine subject came up and BAM she drinks Redbull every single day!” she posted in 2018.

“We had a BIG chat and gave her some cards to join the caffeine toxicity group to get help to come off, she has been thinking that she needs to stop but today I gave her the reason to stop…..another one to add to your list Michael Clarke of people you have helped.”

Energy drinks can be extremely dangerous when not used in moderation or when mixed with other caffeinated products. It’s best to always use caution when consuming caffeine, and if you feel ill stop use immediately.

Michael’s death was completely preventable.

ABH NATURE’S PRODUCTS, INC, ABH PHARMA, INC., and STOCKNUTRA.COM, INC. Issues Nationwide Recall of All Lots of Dietary Supplement Products

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EDGEWOOD, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This is to inform you that ABH NATURE’S PRODUCTS, INC, ABH PHARMA, INC., and STOCKNUTRA.COM, INC. (the “COMPANIES”) is conducting a nationwide recall of ALL lots of its dietary supplement products pursuant to a Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. This recall applies to all dietary supplement products manufactured and sold between January 2013 – November 2019 and all lots of products are included in this recall.

These products are being recalled after an FDA inspection found significant violations of current good manufacturing practice regulations. Manufacturing practices that are not in adequate control represent the possibility of risk being introduced into the manufacturing process resulting in finished supplement products with decreased identity, purity, strength and composition.

To date, there have been no reported illnesses or injuries as a result of this situation.

The COMPANIES contract manufactured dietary supplements for other firms and did not sell products directly to consumers.

Consumers should check the attached list of companies who distributed the dietary supplements to determine if they have purchased a recalled product that needs to be returned or destroyed.

The COMPANIES are notifying its distributors and customers via email and is arranging for return of all recalled products. Wholesalers and distributors (direct customers of the COMPANIES) that have any dietary supplement products manufactured or packaged at the Edgewood, NY facility being recalled should contact a representative of the COMPANIES for instructions with regard to returning any remaining stock.

Distributors or Consumers with questions regarding this recall can contact a representative of the COMPANIES by phone at (866) 922-4669 or e-mail, Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 4:30pm, EST.

Adverse reactions or quality problems experienced with the use of this product may be reported to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program either online, by regular mail or by fax.

This recall is being conducted with the knowledge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

DEA warns young adults have easy access to steroids on social media

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The DEA is warning how easy it is for teens and young adults to buy illegal steroids from sites like YouTube, Facebook and even Instagram.

Having a drug dealer at the tip of your fingers.

Dante Sorianello of the DEA said, “Sure! They are out there, and we aggressively have units that pay attention to those type of steroids, they are dangerous.”

After some simple searches for steroids, we found a number of YouTube videos that showed either who to call to buy steroids, complete with a Whatsapp contact number, or how to use them, while Facebook is known to have programs devoted to policing other social ills such as cocaine, or heroin use, the selling of illegal steroids has been able to stay off their radar.

“As well as the fact is, there is a lot of boot leg , backyard steroids. Some of the stuff, instead of it being sold as steroids is not anything, it is just fake stuff, someone just put together just to make any money. Or somebody is taken a true load or amount of steroids and diluted it with who knows what substances, just to make there certain quantity be doubled or tripled in size,” said Dante Sorianello of the DEA.

Without a doctor’s prescription for a medical condition, the DEA says it’s against the law to possess, sell or distribute steroids.

“There is a place for steroids in a medical care, but using a controlled item, like if a steroid hasn’t been prescribed to you, you shouldn’t do it, besides there’s a ton of side effects that has been put out there,” said Dante Sorianello of the DEA.

This is especially problematic because these drugs cause major health problems and are being touted alongside the fitness models and athletes popular among teenagers.

The DEA warns these are fake drugs from the black market.

Dante Sorianello of the DEA said, “So now, like anything else, its been tampered with, and you probably shouldn’t be using to begin with, now who knows what the dilutant is that is got into it and what adverse effects that can have on you besides the steroids that was prescribed to you.”

Research shows people who use them are now turning to steroids simply to improve their appearance, not to excel at sports specially problematic because these drugs cause major health problems

Dante Sorianello of the DEA said, “But there are a lot of side effects to these things that if they aren’t prescribed to they can do internal organs, so yeah, be very careful.”


Long-Time Athletic Trainer Brings Invaluable Experiences to the Foundation’s Advocacy Against the Use of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances

McKinney, Texas (Thursday, January 9, 2020) – The Taylor Hooton Foundation announced today that Jamie Reed (ATC) of the Texas Rangers, a recognized expert and veteran in the world of professional sports medicine, has joined its Board of Directors. The Taylor Hooton Foundation is widely acknowledged as the leader in the advocacy against the use of appearance and performance enhancing substances by the youth of America.

“We are very pleased to have Jamie join our distinguished Board of Directors and look forward to working with him to help further our message across the US, Canada and Latin America,” said Taylor Hooton Foundation President Donald Hooton Jr. “For years, Jamie has been an outspoken advocate of athletes achieving their goals the right way, through proper diet, exercise and training.  As a long-time leader of the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), Jamie has been an active partner of THF as we deliver education programs to kids across America.  As we expand our messaging to include providing kids with the tools they need to compete fairly and safely, Jamie will be a huge asset.”

Reed, the Texas Rangers’ Senior Director, Medical Operations & Sport Science since 2014, served as the team’s head athletic trainer from 2003-13. From 1997 to 2002, he was head athletic trainer for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He also was the assistant athletic trainer for the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 1996. While with the Orioles, Reed shared “Major League Baseball Athletic Training Staff of the Year” honors in 1995 with (Orioles head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells.

Prior to his major-league appointment in 1989, Reed spent seven seasons in the Orioles’ minor-league system with teams in Bluefield (Rookie League), Hagerstown (Class A), Charlotte (Class AA) and Rochester (Class AAA). He is a former American League assistant athletic trainer representative on the PBATS Executive Committee.  In 2001, he was selected by his peers as the new president of PBATS, and was re-elected to the position in 2003 and again in 2005. He also served on the Board as Immediate Past President until 2013.

A native of Annapolis, MD, Reed served as athletic trainer for the U.S. Naval Academy’s football and basketball teams from 1982 to 1984, and again in 1988.  Reed co-chairs the Red Romo Scholarship that provides the expenses to pay for an extra athletic trainer for the Naval Academy Sports Program.

“My passion the past 10 years has been protecting young athletes,” Reed said. “I have very much enjoyed sharing my experience in MLB with the parents and coaches of youth athletes and speak to the dangers of sports specialization and the benefits of proper conditioning, nutrition, and most importantly, keeping it fun for the kids. The Taylor Hooton Foundation has a very similar calling and I am thrilled to be closely associated with their group.”

To date, the Taylor Hooton Foundation has spoken to and educated well over one-million people across the U.S., Canada and Latin America thanks to its many supporters including primary sponsor, Major League Baseball. Additionally, the THF has put together an Advisory Board that consists of more than 40 active MLB players, including at least one representative from each of the 30 teams.  These men have proudly stepped forward to be role models to help the THF enlighten people to the truth about appearance and performance enhancing substances.


CONTACT: Rick Cerrone / Rick Cerrone Communications

(914) 715-5491 /


About The Taylor Hooton Foundation: The Taylor Hooton Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is dedicated to educating North America’s young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances. The friends and family of Taylor Hooton formed the Foundation in 2004 after his untimely death at 17 years old following his use of anabolic steroids.


For more information about the Taylor Hooton Foundation and its efforts, please visit


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SARMs” have emerged as a new class of appearance- and performance-enhancing substances. Before you consider using one, learn the facts here.

What are SARMs?

SARMs—short for “selective androgen receptor modulators”—are synthetic drugs designed to have effects similar to those of testosterone. SARMs are still in the research and testing stages for various medical conditions but have not been approved yet for any other use. Despite that, SARMs are readily available online and often marketed to bodybuilders as “legal steroids” or “steroid alternatives” or for “research only.”

Are SARMs safe or legal?

Although SARMs sometimes are sold in products marketed as dietary supplements, FDA has stated they are not dietary supplements and are unapproved by FDA for human use. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibit SARMS for use in sport.

USU/CHAMP logo. Operation Supplement Safety logo. SARMs (Selective androgen receptor modulators) are unapproved drugs. They're also: illegally marketed and sold as dietary supplements, banned in all professional and college sports, unapproved by FDA for human use, known to adversely affect the liver and cholesterol levels. Is it worth the risk to your performance and readiness?

If you have purchased or considered using SARMs, including dietary supplement products labeled as containing a SARM (that is, with one or more SARMs on the Supplement Facts panel) or products marketed for research purposes only (and not for human consumption), think again! We strongly advise against using such products, because they pose significant health and readiness risks. Ostarine and similar SARMs also might cause positive results if you are tested for steroids. Importantly, use of SARMs might interfere with the natural release of your own testosterone.

What ingredients should you look out for?

Some of the ingredient names to watch out for on dietary supplement product labels and websites include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Andarine (S4)
  • Enobosarm (Ostarine, MK-2866)
  • Ligandrol (LGD-4033)
  • RAD140 (Testolone)
  • S-22
  • S-23

Watch out too for other experimental drugs—such as Cardarine/GW-501516, Ibutamoren/MK-677, and YK11—that sometimes are marketed as SARMs; they aren’t, but they also are illegal for any use other than research.

Steroids, suicide and stigma: The dangers of doping

Steroids and suicide.

Reporter JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN lost her brother to suicide after he went ‘cold turkey’ off anabolic steroids. She revisits his story 20 years after his death.

A baggy-jeaned skateboarder hikes up his pants before pushing off a ramp. It’s night and an orange glow from the streetlights illuminates the dark Invercargill skate park where he attempts an ollie. He fails the flip and crashes to the concrete. His face grimaces. I pause the screen. Mesmerised. It is the only clear shot of Kris’ face on the short clip.

My eyes move over his every limb. He is wearing the ring I bought him for a birthday present; his black Vans shoes that now sit at my mum’s doorstep poke out from under his frayed jeans; his dark hair is slicked back. He is wearing a white singlet and I can’t help but notice the definition in his bulging arms as he pushes himself up off the ground.

The footage is grainy, wobbly, dark and old. It was shot 20 years ago. But it is precious. It is the last video footage we have of Kris before he took his life on December 17, 1999.

Twenty years. It is a long time not to have seen your brother, son, nephew, friend. Grandparents have died, children have been born. Time passes and life moves on. Grief is an unpredictable, draining, emotional train-ride that takes you through dark tunnels, around tight bends, up mountains and down steep hills. And there is no getting off.

Kris McKenzie took his life on December 17, 1999 after withdrawal from anabolic steroids.
Kris McKenzie took his life on December 17, 1999 after withdrawal from anabolic steroids.

My brother had just turned 20 when he died. He lived in a flat in Invercargill and worked as a forecourt attendant at a petrol station. I had just finished my third year at University of Otago and was working in the Bay of Islands with two university friends for the summer. I was getting ready for a shift in the bar of the Duke of Marlborough Hotel when my stepdad called me to tell me Kris was dead. I stood outside the back of the hotel. I still shake with emotion reliving that call – the shock, disbelief and overwhelming pain that has the power to freeze time and sink you to your knees.

Kris was the “cool” one of the two of us. He struggled academically at school, but he was smart and talented; he would just rather have been surfing or skateboarding than studying. He was charismatic, caring and cuddly. He was also good looking. People often thought he was Māori or Italian because of his dark complexion. He had a wide, welcoming smile and big bright eyes. He was tall, athletic and lean.

In the months leading up to his death, Kris changed. His personality darkened and his body bulked up. He became obsessed with his image.

My family noticed the changes in Kris but we were naive. We thought it was the arrogance of youth. We knew he was going to the gym and getting results from the work he was putting in. We never suspected he was using anabolic (body-building) androgenic (masculinising) steroids (AAS) to achieve it.

Kris’ steroid use wasn’t exposed until after he died. Some family members found vials hidden in his bedroom. His gym “buddies” went to ground when we started asking questions. My mum, in her search for answers, took the lead on trying to find out what was going on in Kris’ life that may have contributed to his death.

Kris McKenzie with his sister, Jo McKenzie-McLean, and mother Sharyn McLean when he was 16.
Kris McKenzie with his sister, Jo McKenzie-McLean, and mother Sharyn McLean when he was 16.

I think in any suicide people will always ask why Kris didn’t leave a note. He was surrounded by family who loved him beyond words. Suicide was never ever on our radar. But here, we had evidence that Kris was using an illegal substance and given the changes in him leading up to his death … we wanted some answers.

A close friend of his was able to provide us with some important detail. Kris had gone to her and confided what he had been doing. He was in tears and told her he didn’t like who he had become and decided to quit the steroids cold turkey. He took his life not long after this conversation.

Another friend, involved in the gym industry, was also able to provide insight into the underground steroid culture in Invercargill at the time, which was given to police officer Andy Fraser, who ended up investigating Kris’ case on behalf of coroner Trevor Savage.


Kris’ is the only case in New Zealand where a coroner has linked suicide to the withdrawal from prolonged anabolic steroid use.

Overseas, anabolic steroids were thrust into the spotlight in 2007 when professional wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and his young son before committing suicide shortly after injecting himself with the drug.

There have been a handful of other cases in New Zealand where coroners have ruled anabolic steroids have been a factor in death. Two men who died were personal trainers who were described as having substantial and chronic anabolic steroid use; another was a gym user; and another was a young man in the military who died during a physical training exercise at a military base in 2009. None of those cases were suicides, although one mentions a history of self-harm and suicidal thoughts, and the possibility of the death being a suicide was investigated.

David Gerrard, an Emeritus Professor of Medicine and anti-doping expert, gave evidence at Kris’ inquest in 2001 and 20 years on, his story was still an important one to tell, he said.

“The sad story presented by Kris is typical of many young men seeking short-term goals through body enhancement, whether for sport, occupational or personal reasons. Frequently these young males (mostly) struggle in areas of personal engagement and have a desire to present a body image that they feel will gain acceptance and attention.”

Jo McKenzie-McLean says her brother struggled academically at school, but was smart and talented.
Jo McKenzie-McLean says her brother struggled academically at school, but was smart and talented.

A key revelation was around the psychological side-effects of anabolic steroid use, including altered personality, mood swings, uncharacteristic aggression, schizophrenia and depression. A significant feature may be an increased risk of depressive illness, particularly after withdrawal from these drugs.

“Now, as a physician and a professor, I am equally concerned about the impact drug misuse has on the health of young athletes and other members of society – from a range of seemingly trivial morbidity through to serious changes in personality, uncharacteristic moods and ultimately suicidal ideation we know is associated with ‘coming down’ from the use of some drugs, but AAS in particular.”

Gerrard said he had only provided evidence in one other similar coronial case and that was in Australia soon after Kris’ case.

“The circumstances were very similar and equally tragic … There are certainly several anecdotal instances of suicide in young male athletes following withdrawal from prolonged anabolic steroid use. Most of these have been reported in US literature.”

The presence of an underground steroid culture did not shock police officer Andy Fraser, who investigated Kris’ case on behalf of the coroner. But the side-effects were eye-opening, he said.

“I knew about the mood swings but I didn’t know what could happen when you stopped.”

Kris’ case piqued his interest and he “blew budgets” sending tests to Australia trying to get the answers not just the family, but the coroner wanted.

Despite getting leads to Kris’ supply source, no arrest was ever made.

“It would have been great to grab him and chuck him into court, but that didn’t happen.”

McKenzie became obsessed with his image in the months before he died.
McKenzie became obsessed with his image in the months before he died.

All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka said the desire for people wanting to be the “biggest and the best” had not changed since Kris’ death.

“Society still rewards these endeavours so they will always be pursued with vigour by ‘those who can’. The challenge comes when this pursuit becomes an obsession, which often leads to the blurring of boundaries of acceptable and unacceptable practices and what people are prepared to do to ‘taste its power’.”

Many get lured into a sort of ‘trance’ and unhealthy practices could be increased as individuals told themselves rational lies and their new and improved ‘look’ and the ‘taste of success’ created a spiral that hooked them in, he said.

“Unless they have ‘powerful people’ – who they respect – close to them, the results are often catastrophic.”

The testing had increased dramatically – but all that did was drive excessive users to methods and practices that helped avoid detection, he said.

“Education still remains as a powerful deterrent, as do programme structures and the individuals that lead them.”

As a family, we wanted Kris’ case to be made public to educate people about the dangers anabolic steroids posed. That same urge to speak out resonates with an American father who lost his son to steroids.


Taylor Hooton, a 17-year-old American athlete, was told to get bigger and stronger to improve his odds of making the varsity baseball team, he turned to anabolic steroids. Shortly after he took his own life due to these drugs.
Taylor Hooton, a 17-year-old American athlete, was told to get bigger and stronger to improve his odds of making the varsity baseball team, he turned to anabolic steroids. Shortly after he took his own life due to these drugs.

Taylor Hooton was a talented 17-year-old baseballer who committed suicide in 2003 after withdrawal from anabolic steroids.

His father, Don Hooton, said the withdrawal had been his son’s “death sentence” and a lack of knowledge about steroid use and its widespread use cost Taylor his life.

After his son died he reached out to medical experts and was shocked to learn how dangerous the drugs were, and how many young people were using them.

“Taylor was in his high school baseball team and we were able to confirm half his team were actively using steroids.”

He wanted to share his knowledge and initially worked with his son’s high school to run a programme to educate students and parents about AAS. His plight was picked up by news media across the country, including CBS’ 60 Minutes and the New York Times and he soon discovered what he thought was a local problem was much bigger.

“We walked into and uncovered – what was actually in plain sight – a national epidemic of young people around the country using anabolic steroids. It’s not an isolated problem.”

He consequently started the Taylor Hooton Foundation to raise awareness about the scope of the AAS problem and provide education by travelling around the country talking to students, professional groups, athletes, trainers, coaches and parents.

Anti-doping expert David Gerrard gave evidence at Kris' inquest in 2001.
Anti-doping expert David Gerrard gave evidence at Kris’ inquest in 2001.

His efforts were not always welcomed, with pushback from the user community, as well as from sports leaders.

“There is an immediate wall that goes up. They don’t want to admit there is a problem … Resistance has decreased over time but I can’t say people are overly enthusiastic about wanting to tackle the problem.

“At a general level, parents are open to talking about the problem being out there in society somewhere but are loath [to believe] their child could be tempted to get involved in it.”

Social media platforms had enabled AAS peddlers to bring the drugs into kids’ bedrooms, he said.

“”It is not like heroin or cocaine or crack where they have to go to the street and go buy it in secret … they are sitting at their desks getting exposed to this stuff.”

A recent six-month investigation by Washington-based organisation the Digital Citizens Alliance looked at the sale of AAS over sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

The report – Digital Platforms on Steroids – shows millions of Americans have resorted to the use of appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs, aided by drug dealers who advertise the sale of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone online while digital platforms seemingly turn a blind eye.


Gerrard said efforts to fight AAS use had “dropped below the radar” when confronted by the current epidemic of societal drug abuse – particularly meth. However, the anabolic steroid industry remained very much a problem.

“I think that it’s the thin edge of the wedge when you think of people like Kris who become involved in poor decision-making but plotted and abetted by people who knew the potential consequences of what was going on … It’s no different to the peddling of other addictive drugs in society.”

All Blacks leadership manager Gilbert Enoka says the desire for people wanting to be the "biggest and the best" has not changed.
All Blacks leadership manager Gilbert Enoka says the desire for people wanting to be the “biggest and the best” has not changed.

There were still significant pockets of AAS use in society that focused on gyms, the supplement “industry” and in areas of image-enhancement – body-builders, bouncers and the armed forces, where size was intimidatory, he said.

“I still believe that AAS remains available through a number of nefarious routes – as reflected in the recent Townshend case.”

In 2017, Christchurch man Joshua Townshend was sentenced to a two-year jail term after admitting 129 charges involving body-building drugs.

Townshend operated a large-scale online steroid business under the name He attempted to distance himself from the operation by using bank accounts held by others to receive funds, using false names to register websites and Facebook pages, and by not identifying himself to customers.

A Ministry of Health spokesperson said 17 people had been prosecuted by the ministry for anabolic steroid-related offences since 2009.

The prosecutions have included:

– Nutritionist and former Mr New Zealand Mark William Rainbow charged under the Medicines Act with importing and selling steroids and related medicines and with offences under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 (2009). Handed a total of five years and three months in jail the following year.

– Former bodybuilder Phillip Musson: four years and five months’ jail on charges relating to the importation, selling and distribution of steroids and party pills (2014).

– Rodney Leonard Bailey: seven months’ home detention sentence for a mail-order steroid-dealing operation (2013).

Research in the anabolic steroid area was difficult given that athletes remained very unwilling to disclose their use of AAS, Gerrard said.

Gerrard was part of an Otago University study in 2014, funded by DrugFree Sport New Zealand, which found the potential risk of elite high school rugby players being engaged in doping “is real”.

Researchers surveyed 142 players from seven first XV teams about banned drug use. It found young athletes had similar attitudes and behaviours to doping and dietary supplements as their peers in Australia, Canada and the US.

“There is a strong body of evidence we should be putting attention into that age group … In parts of the world, such as the UK and South Africa, they have done some good education work with that age group of rugby players and young men coming through the sporting ranks who have been told they need to be bigger and stronger … New Zealand should not consider itself insulated from the world of drug misuse in sport.”


Kris wasn’t an elite sportsman. He was a normal, fun-loving, free-spirited young guy whose life unravelled when he joined a gym and he was introduced to illegal anabolic steroids.

He was young, impressionable, trusting and regrettably injected that poison into his body. The saddest part is that he recognised he had become someone he wasn’t and he tried to make a change. The thought of him crying about hating the person he had become breaks my heart. If only he had reached out to his family. If only we had known what to look for. If only he had known how dangerous the drugs were. If only.

I’ve had to stick up for my brother in death. Twenty years ago suicide was a taboo subject – never to be talked about. Suicide made people uncomfortable. Uneasy. People used to cross the street to avoid talking to me. Not long after Kris’ death, a counsellor at university said “you must be embarrassed and ashamed about the way your brother died”. I walked out.

I will never be embarrassed or ashamed about Kris or how he died. He was a victim. He was a young kid who knew no better. Anabolic steroids are still out there. Our young people are still at risk. They are still killing.

Steroids did not just take my brother’s life. They stole him from my life and my parents’ lives, they have robbed my children of an uncle.

We ride the grief train together, but, over the years, while the pain of our loss is as deep as day one, we have learned to let light in through the dark tunnels; to love, to laugh and to live.–20-years-after-we-lost-my-brother



Image result for coffee beans

Caffeine is the most widely-used stimulant in the world. It’s found in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and energy shots, as well as some sports gels, dietary supplements, over-the-counter medications, and combat ration items (pudding, gum, and mints). In moderate doses, caffeine can boost both physical and mental performance. As with other stimulants, though, too much caffeine can have negative consequences, so it’s important to be aware of how much caffeine you’re consuming, and use it appropriately and strategically. Dietary supplements sometimes have significant amounts of caffeine, which adds to your daily intake, so pay special attention to what’s on the labels.

How much caffeine is safe?

For healthy adults, including women who are not pregnant or lactating, up to 400 mg per day of caffeine is considered safe. Less than that isn’t likely to lead to serious side effects. However, sensitivity to caffeine differs from person to person. Side effects include headaches, dizziness, nervousness, restlessness, and trouble sleeping. More serious side effects can occur with higher doses. In fact, 150–200 mg/kg bodyweight—or about 10–14 grams for the average person—can be fatal. This amount might seem difficult to achieve, but pure and highly concentrated caffeine are readily available and sold as dietary supplements, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns against because it’s up to you as the consumer to accurately measure out a serving. And, according to FDA, one teaspoon of pure powdered caffeine contains as much caffeine as 28 cups of coffee.

If I use caffeine for performance, how much should I use?

Caffeine can help improve some, but not all, measures of cognitive performance, such as vigilance, attention, and alertness, during long activities such as patrolling at night or when you are sleep deprived. For physical performance, caffeine works better for endurance rather than for short-term, high-intensity, or strength activities.

The exact amount of caffeine that can help performance varies among indviduals, and some respond better than others. In general, up to 200 mg (about the amount of caffeine in 8–12 oz of brewed coffee) at any one time is appropriate. Consume caffeine about 30–60 minutes before a workout, training session, work shift, or mission for best results, as it takes about an hour to reach peak blood levels. That also means you might need another dose of caffeine after 3–4 hours to help you stay alert or active for a long period of time. However, add up all the sources of caffeine in your diet and do not exceed 600 mg of caffeine per day (800 mg for sustained operations) to minimize risk of side effects.

How can I tell if my supplement contains caffeine?

If your supplement is marketed for weight loss, energy, or pre-workout, it probably contains caffeine. To see if your supplement contains caffeine, look at the Supplement Facts panel. Caffeine is often listed simply as “caffeine,” but various forms or terms include “caffeine anhydrous,” 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine, and others.

Other times the caffeine might be “hidden” in an ingredient. Sources of caffeine include:

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THF Issues Statement re: WADA Decision on Russia


Tuesday, December 10, 2019



President, Taylor Hooton Foundation

RE: The WADA Executive Committee’s Decision on Russia


“The Taylor Hooton Foundation (THF) stands with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and supports its stance that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) should have enforced a blanket ban to include all Russian athletes. The THF stands for living and competing without the use of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances.  Doping—in any sport and on any level—should not be tolerated. Not only because it nullifies the purpose of sport, but also because athletes who choose to cheat in this way are setting a dangerous example for young athletes and those who look up to them as role models.  There are consequences for cheating, both in sport and in life.  Playing a sport is a privilege, and if you cheat, that privilege can and should be taken away.

“The Taylor Hooton Foundation hopes that these findings and WADA’s decision will create an outcry for tougher penalties on Russia and any other country, team or organization that would condone or adopt the use of Appearance and Performance Enhancing Substances.”


For more information from The Washington Post, please visit (click here).


CONTACT:   Rick Cerrone / Rick Cerrone Communications