Hughes honored to help Hooton end PED use

CINCINNATI — A group that works to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in all sports, the Taylor Hooton Foundation actively recruits Major League Baseball players to help spread its message. The foundation announced this weekend that its advisory board of active players reached a record 38 players.

That includes Reds reliever Jared Hughes and outfielder Adam Duvall. Hughes has been involved since 2012, when he met foundation president Don Hooton Jr.

It’s incredible how I got involved. Taylor Hooton’s brother, Don. Jr., was married to our real-estate agent who sold us our house in Texas,” Hughes said on Saturday. “Her name is Chelsea, and it was a completely random occurrence and I ended up meeting him through her. I was totally on board with this, and it was like fate in my opinion.

“Growing up in the late ’90s and early 2000s, there were rumors about performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. That broke my heart as a fan. That’s the last thing I wanted to see. I wanted all of my players to be role models. I know it’s not always the case, but I wanted my favorite players to be hard working and that they got there because it was all hard work and no cheating involved.”

Members of the Taylor Hooton Foundation advisory board believe using performance-enhancing drugs is illegal and dangerous and that any athletes who use such drugs are cheating their respective sports. Part of Hughes’ role as an advisory board member is participating in the Foundation’s “It’s All Me” public-service campaign raising awareness of the dangers of appearance- and performance-enhancing drugs.

The friends and family of Taylor Hooton formed the Foundation in 2004 after his death at age 17 following his use of anabolic steroids. Hughes has spoken on behalf of the foundation to student athletes, including once at Long Beach State University.

“Every time Taylor’s story gets told, it is moving,” Hughes said. “I truly believe it helps motivate people to avoid performance-enhancing drugs.”

https://www.mlb.com/news/jared-hughes-on-taylor-hooton-foundation-board/c-287792028

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