Little League Baseball is developing an educational program for coaches and volunteers about the dangers of performance-enhancing-drug use, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The initiative, which Little League hopes to unveil by the start of the 2014 season, will be created in conjunction with the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The Texas-based philanthropy was founded in 2004 in honor of Taylor Hooton, a former student-athlete who took his own life after using steroids.
The announcement came on the heels of Major League Baseball’s latest round of PED-related suspensions, which saw 12 players earn 50-game bans and Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees suspended through the 2014 season (211 games in total). Rodriguez has appealed his suspension; the other 12 players have accepted theirs without appeal.
“This is a teachable moment,” foundation president Don Hooton told the AP in a phone interview. “Every parent, every coach should take the opportunity of all these suspensions to sit down and talk to your kids about why they shouldn’t be involved in performance-enhancing drugs.”
After Rodriguez’s first PED-related suspension in 2009, he began working with the Hooton Foundation to help dissuade youths from using similar substances. Upon hearing about his latest suspension, the foundation cut all ties with him.
While Major League Baseball’s PED problems have attracted most of the spotlight, youth PED use is emerging as a larger problem, too. The
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.