The pros have rules. The NCAA has its rules. And now there is a media awakening that steroid use in high schools deserves attention. Newspapers have focused on the subject in recent articles. The New York Times reported on a federal investigation into Tren Xtreme and Mass Xtreme. The Tallahassee Democrat wrote about the dangers of high school students taking supplements that build body mass.
Most of the experts in the articles work at universities, not in the nutritional supplement industry. There is no discussion of the benefits of supplements, just the dangers, such as this quote by a university director of sports medicine:
“If you’re buying something off the Internet and it costs $60 for 60 pills, it’s probably something illegal.”
Fair comment? Maybe. Balanced article? Probably not, because the industry is not being heard. That may be because no one wants to be in a news article about a company whose offices are being searched by investigator Jeff Novitsky of BALCO fame. Still, there is a need to get involved, to interact with reporters and editors who are covering sports, not diet and nutrition. Sports has become a home for news about money (contracts), crime (arrests) and health (steroids and other drugs).
A part of the supplement industry has always engaged athletes, but with public attention shifting to the health of teenagers — steroid use, obesity, etc. — the supplement industry has not been heard often enough. Who will speak up?