Monthly Article Archives: January 2008

Professional and Youth Sports: A Story of Drugs and ValuesRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

Major league baseball was rocked by the long anticipated release last month of the Mitchell Report, a document detailing the use of steroids and human growth hormones by players during the past decade. Many prominent names appeared on the list. As I write this article some athletes have acknowledged the use of illegal drugs to improve performance or ostensibly to recover more rapidly from injuries. Others have offered firm denials. This situation is not unique to baseball. Other sports such as football, bicycling, tennis, and track and field have witnessed similar accusations against high profile athletes across the world. In some instances, initial denials were followed by admissions of guilt. The Mitchell Report has received extensive media attention. I heard one person decry the amount of time devoted to this story given all else that is transpiring in the world. However, while one may argue that sports are “just a game” in contrast with “real-life” issues such as war, poverty, racism, genocide, and the environment, the reality is that in most countries sports hold great interest and seem to be more than just a game. Star players are often afforded the status of heroes. The intense publicity accompanying professional athletes,

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