STATEMENT OF THE TAYLOR HOOTON FOUNDATION CONCERNING THE CONNECTICUT SENATE CANDIDACY OF MRS. LINDA McMAHON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:          Rob Housman

                        Book Hill Partners

                        O) 202-289-3636; C) 202-486-5874

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STATEMENT OF THE TAYLOR HOOTON FOUNDATION CONCERNING THE CONNECTICUT SENATE CANDIDACY OF MRS. LINDA McMAHON

Oct. 13, 2010, McKinney, TX-Today, Don Hooton President and Founder of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, issued this statement on behalf of the Foundation:

Over the past few months the Taylor Hooton Foundation has remained largely quiet despite our concerns about the use of steroids in World Wrestling and the candidacy of Linda McMahon, the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, for the US Senate from Connecticut.  However, the time has come for us to make our concerns known.

The Foundation is deeply alarmed about the growing trend in steroid and other performance enhancing drug use among America's young people.  Experts estimate that about one million U.S. high school students­-as many as 6 percent-admit that they have knowingly used anabolic steroids, a usage rate that is significantly higher than some other drugs of abuse-such as heroin and Methamphetamines-that receive a great deal of attention and effort.  This number doesn't include the countless kids who have unknowingly purchased dietary supplements that have been tainted with steroids. Multiple studies have shown that upwards of 20 percent of bodybuilding supplements are illegally spiked with steroids.  The increasingly competitive nature of our society is driving more of our kids to use these drugs.

Moreover, the use of steroids in the absence of a legitimate doctor's prescription is a Federal crime-they are a Schedule III Controlled Substance.

The Foundation is about to launch a drive to cajole the Federal government-the Congress and the Administration-to begin to focus on this threat.  At present the Federal government spends virtually no money on educating our kids about these drugs despite all of the noise that they made in various hearings where they beat up on various players and professional leagues.

To be successful in our efforts to educate kids, we will need the clear support of all our Senators and Representatives, as well as the Administration.  From the positions that Mrs. McMahon has taken on the topic of steroids, we doubt that we can count on her support.

She has refused to concede that steroid use is dangerous.  Speaking as a father who has lost his son to steroids, I can assure her and the good people of Connecticut that these drugs are not just dangerous, they can be deadly.  If she would like to be educated as to how these drugs can kill young people, I would be delighted to sit down with her and tell her about our experience with my son Taylor as well as the stories of many other families that we've met around the country.

Mrs. McMahon should know that our view as to the dangers of these drugs is shared by every reputable doctor not just in America, but around the world.

If such statements came from the head of any other professional sports league or the Olympics that person would rightly be disgraced.

As head of the WWE, McMahan has a unique, profound responsibility to address this issue head on.  Just like the heads of other leagues, such as MLB and the NFL, have done.  These athletes are role models and we need to be sending clear signals to our youth about the right and wrong and the dangers of these drugs.

Faced with this issue, candidate McMahon has sent out her surrogates to tout WWE drug testing and wellness policies that from our perspective were and are too little, way too late. 

Moreover, her reliance on a drug testing policy as a shield to criticism in the face of overwhelming circumstantial of widespread evidence of ongoing steroid and other performance enhancing drug use is deeply disturbing.  Many experts who look at the World Wrestling league as a whole share our concerns that such drug use continues.

And, to this point, we are troubled by a number of indications that WWE, and its former CEO Linda McMahon, may have been more involved in steroid use than just turning a blind eye.  The media has reported that in the face of rage outbursts, heart attacks, strokes and suicides among fit and seemingly healthy young athletes-all strong and clear indicators of possible steroid use­-the WWE's contracts include a series of clauses to protect the league from lawsuits and damaging statements concerning such occurrences.

At a time when this threat is growing, we don't need a lawmaker who has actively condoned-at minimum through inaction-unlawful steroid use. 

We don't need a lawmaker who refuses to acknowledge the dangerous nature of these illegal drugs. 

We need someone who takes seriously the responsibility of protecting the lives and health of our nation's children and the integrity of our sports.

Thank you.


About the Foundation:

The Taylor Hooton Foundation is the only entity, public or private, in North America dedicated to educating young people and their adult influencers about the dangers of appearance and performance enhancing drugs. The Foundation has educated hundreds of thousands of people across the United States and Canada via their Hoot's Chalk Talk programs.  Additionally, through a partnership with Major League Baseball, the Foundation delivers these programs in all thirty professional baseball stadiums every baseball season.  The Foundation was founded in 2004 in memory Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old student athlete from Plano, TX. Taylor committed suicide as a result of his anabolic steroid abuse.

For more information: www.taylorhooton.org

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