We are doing lots of good work in Canada these days. Â After the big steroid scandal at the University of Waterloo in 2010, our organization was called in to help. Â Here is an update on the situation which is being done by one of the local radio stations.
While more attention is being paid to the issue of steroids in sports, there’s still a long road ahead to eradication.
Recent statistics show that one in five amateur athletes have tried a steroid in the past month, the median age for starting the use of steroids is 15 and young girls are among the fastest growing group of steroid users.
Peter Baxter, Director of Athletics at Wilfrid Laurier University, is understandably pleased that his entire football team recently tested clean for performance enhancing drugs.
Baxter also supports the increased vigilance in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) since nine football players at the University of Waterloo tested positive for steroids last year
“The CCES (Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport) had actually done 393 tests in 1993 in football alone,” Baxter says, suggesting the league and its governing body has become complacent over time. “In the year before the Waterloo incident, it was 89 (tests).”
Up the road at the University of Waterloo, the Warriors football team is getting ready to return to the gridiron after a one-year, school-imposed suspension.
Director of Athletics Bob Copeland has no misgivings about the return to play and he’s confident that the right mechanisms are now in place to not only test players but to educate them about the dangers of steroid abuse.
And while he’s not trying to avail his team and its players of any responsibility, Copeland points out that the education piece is a key part of UW’s new strategy.
“People are shocked when they hear that about 20% of the nutritional supplements in the big shiny containers (available in any health food store) are spiked with anabolic steroids,” Copeland points out. “And there are a lot of ingredients that aren’t on the label.”
Both schools have been working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation out of Texas. Considered one of the foremost authorities on steroid abuse and education, the foundation was started by Don Hooton after his son, Taylor, committed suicide as a result of his anabolic steroid use.
Don Hooton is passionate about his work and wishes only that more organizations would help to spread the message. Still, he wastes no effort in describing just how big the steroid problem is.
“Every parent should be careful of assuming that this (steroid abuse) is going on in somebody else’s school or on somebody else’s athletic team and that their child is not being exposed to this,” Hooton says pointedly.
Hear the whole story this Sunday at 6 PM on The Farwell Files.