Project to inform students of the dangers of HGH
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new project is coming to Rhode Island high schools in the 2013-2014 academic year.
The Rhode Island Interscholastic League (RIIL) announced the initiation of a new project, Operation Clean Competition. The project is made possible by a $75,000 grant from The Rhode Island Foundation.
Operation Clean Competition will provide educational messages about the severe impacts of human growth hormone (HGH) and other performance enhancing drugs to the athletes, coaches, and parents across Rhode Island.
The award is the inaugural grant from the Clean Competition Fund, established in 2011 following a federal plea agreement with Genescience Pharmaceuticals.
The fund supports projects that support anti-doping in sports, performance-enhancing drug testing, or clinical research on the long term health implications of such substances.
“There was a lot of interest in this grant and we are thrilled and honored that the Rhode Island Foundation selected this program as the medium to educate the athletes of the state,” said Tom Mezzanotte, Executive Director of the RI Interscholastic League.
The RIIL serves over 25,000 athletes annually in high schools across the state of Rhode Island and has approximately 5,000 coaches serving both boys and girls sports.
The initial focus of Operation Clean Competition will be on the RIIL athletes and coaches through a series of assemblies conducted by the Taylor Hooton Foundation (THF).
The THF was formed in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old high school student athlete who took his own life as a result of using anabolic steroids. The THF is considered a national expert on the topic and is funded by sources including the MLB, NFL, and NHL.
“We are proud to support the efforts of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League in spreading this critical message to our state’s young athletes, coaches, and parents,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. “We hope Operation Clean Competition raises awareness about the dangers of performance-enhancing substances and helps promote the importance of healthy and active lifestyles.”