FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Â December 7, 2011
Contact: Â Â Â Â Â Don Hooton
Taylor Hooton Foundation
7713 Thistledown Dr.
McKinney, TXÂ 75071
The Taylor Hooton Foundation, widely acknowledged leader in the advocacy against substance abuse in sports, announced today that the second ever "Taylor's Award" will be presented to Bob Copeland, the Director of Athletics at theÂ University of WaterlooÂ in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Â The award will be presented at theÂ Ontario University AthleticsÂ Football Summit being heldÂ inÂ Toronto.
Taylor's Award is presented by the Taylor Hooton Foundation to an individual who has made a major impact on the effort to educate and protect our young people from the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance enhancing drugs (APEDs).Â Only one previous recipient has received this honor;Â Commissioner Bud Selig of Major League Baseball was presented with this award in May 2010 for the outstanding work that he and MLB have done in helping educate young people about the dangers of these drugs.
Taylor's Award is presented in honor of Taylor Hooton, a 17-year old honor student and promising high school baseball player. Â On July 15, 2003, Taylor committed suicide as a result of anabolic steroid use.
"I'm extremely proud to present Taylor's Award to Bob Copeland. Â As a result of Bob's leadership,Â and that of the University of Waterloo, the performance enhancing drug problem in university sports is now being addressed in a much bigger way across Canada," said Don Hooton, President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. Â "It is my hope that the changes that are being implemented in Canada will find their way into university sports in the US and many other countries," he added.
LastÂ year, one of the players on the Waterloo football team wasÂ arrested and found to be in possession ofÂ a significantÂ quantityÂ of steroids.Â Sensing that the problem might be larger than just this individual player, BobÂ and his staffÂ workedÂ with theÂ Canadian Centre for Ethics in SportÂ to haveÂ an unannounced test of the entire football team, within days of the arrest.Â When the test results came in, and to everyone's surprise, a significant number of the University's football players were found to be using banned substances. The findings were deemed to be so serious that the UniversityÂ ordered anÂ independent reviewÂ andÂ suspended the football program from competing for a period of one yearÂ which drew international headlines.
"In today's world of university athletics, most leaders are prone to jump into a defensive mode by taking steps to protect their athletic programs from criticism at all costs, even if it puts the lives and health of their athletes at risk.Â Instead, BobÂ and senior administrators at the University of WaterlooÂ showed courageÂ and transparencyÂ by recognizing that this APEDs problem mightÂ not be confined to a single player.Â Â Bob has shown tremendous leadership in addressing this issue within university sport in Canada including key roles as a member of aÂ National Task ForceÂ as well as his role as Chair of theÂ OUA Performance Enhancing Drugs Education Task Force; on his own campus, several promising new initiatives have been developed to better address policy, education, and testing regarding APEDs."
"AsÂ a result ofÂ Bob's advocacy and the support of his university's senior administration, the way this problem is being handled across Canada is changing in some very, very positive ways," Hooton said. Â "Improved education programs are being implemented for both athletes and coaching staffs, and much more thorough testing regimens are being implemented to monitor this drug usage," he added.Â
The Taylor Hooton Foundation isÂ 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 drugs. Â The Foundation was formed in 2004 by the friends and family of Taylor Hooton after his untimely death.
Additional information on the Foundation can be obtained atÂ www.taylorhooton.org.