Are Steroids A Congressional Issue?

By: Daniel Chanin Email
By: Daniel Chanin Email

Did he, or didn't he? That's what millions of Americans are hoping to find out as congress continues to grill baseball star Roger Clemens about his possible steroid use.

But many others are wondering whether regulating steroids should be Congress' responsibility.

Everyone agrees performance-enhancing drugs are a problem, but few can agree on a solution.

With steroid use continuing in high schools and one of baseball's greatest pitchers under fire, this debate has never been more heated.

Clemens continues to deny ever using performance-enhancing drugs, with a Hall of Fame bid and possible jail time at stake.

The 45-year-old's drug use is the subject of national sports and network news shows everywhere, but some people here in the Truckee Meadows say sports have no place in national politics.

"I think they have more important things to be doing then going after someone who could be reprimanded by the organization and not congress," says Allison Forbes of Reno.

"He's just a baseball player in the end," says Cameron Andelin of Reno. "I'm sure it can have a great impact on the record books, but overall in our society it shouldn't be the most important thing."

Congress has repeatedly defended its steroid investigation by saying it will prevent student athletes from trying to imitate their idols, which is something, many coaches agree with.

"You're talking about scholarships," says Reno High Athletic Director Pete Padgett. "You're talking about huge amounts of money."

Padgett has been working with student athletes for 27 years. He knows firsthand about the pressures young kids face. Padgett's son, David, is a highly-touted basketball prospect at Louisville. He says, at the very least, the Clemens hearings will force people to take a closer look at just how prevalent steroid use has become.

"To say it's not as important as some of the other things going on in the country, I'd probably agree," says Padgett. "But since it is happening, I hope our athletes and parents are paying particular attention to it because it's something they need to listen to."

Several schools including some in Henderson have implemented a drug-testing program.

Reno High School has no program in place right now, but Padget says it's something he'll probably institute at some point down the road.


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