Doctor says steroids a 'widespread' problem in HS sports

The twenty years American Heritage Coach Brad Tremper has coached youngsters that have taught him not to be naive when it comes to steroids.

"I haven't seen it here," said Tremper. "I can't say it doesn't go on, because kids go to the gym and you never know what happens when a child leaves school."

But he says American Heritage has kept steroids out of their players' bodies by closely watching physical development, emphasizing strength rather than size, and explaining how dangerous steroids are.

"At American Heritage, we are about the integrity of the game. The safety of the game and education," said Tremper.

The head of Boca Regional Urgent Care, Dr. Evan Goldstein, says about six times a year, a high school athlete comes in because something has gone terribly wrong.

Three weeks ago it was a seventeen-year-old football player getting ready for the new season.

"They may come in with a swollen leg that's filled with puss," said Goldstein. "You ask them how it happened and they say my buddy in the gym gave me a shot of growth hormone and said it would make me stronger."

Players often explain that they were looking for an edge.

The black market drugs have side effects even scarier than infected legs.

"Kidney failure, heart attack, irregularity, arrhythmia of the heart," said Goldstein.

Reasons like that are why Tremper, though he hasn't seen a problem here, is in favor of mandatory statewide testing for ALL players.

"You can never be too certain, you can never be too safe."

Dr. Goldstein says that the best thing the FHSAA could recommend is mandatory education rather than testing, which could be very expensive and time consuming.

He also says smoking is still far and away the biggest threat to teenage health.
 

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