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Fla. High School Athletic Association Re-Examining PED Policies

In the wake of Major League Baseball's latest performance-enhancing-drug scandal, the executive director of the Florida High School Athletic Association has called on the organization's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee to review its existing policies regarding PED use.

According to a recent Miami Herald report, high school athletes in Florida were among the clients of Biogenesis, the clinic at the center of MLB's latest PED scandal. Porter Fischer, a former Biogenesis employee, told ESPN's Outside the Lines that 16- and 17-year-old boys were given "sports-performance packages, which would include HGH [human-growth hormone], testosterone."

According to documents obtained by Outside the Lines, the names of 10 Miami-area high school baseball players were listed as clients of Biogenesis, with dollar amounts next to their names.

"You're talking about high school kids getting this stuff from this clinic," said Raymond Rafool, Fischer's lawyer, to the Herald. "For kids who haven't even given their bodies the opportunity to grow to be doing this was really disturbing to him."

Fischer isn't the only one disturbed by these alleged happenings. Roger Dearing, the executive director of the FHSAA, asked his association's sports-medicine committee on Tuesday to conduct a full re-examination of issues related to PEDs, including existing policies regarding the testing of student-athletes for banned substances and the implications of heightened policies against PEDs.

"The FHSAA's overriding priority is the safety, well-being, and constructive development of young student-athletes, whose bodies and character are still forming," Dearing said in a statement. "Performance-enhancing drugs undermine every aspect of this goal, and so it is imperative that our student-athletes adhere to a zero-tolerance policy toward these inherently unfair and dangerous substances."

The state of Florida ended its $100,000 student-athlete steroid-testing program in 2008, according to the Miami Herald, after finding only one positive test in 600. Comprehensive drug tests typically cost more than $100 each, the Palm Beach Post reports, making a steroid-testing initiative prohibitive for many districts or statewide athletic associations.

During a Tuesday conference call, Dearing told reporters that the FHSAA will not fund PED tests, nor does he expect funding to come from the state legislature, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Dearing said during the call that he hopes corporations and communities will help sponsor programs locally.

The association's sports-medicine committee is scheduled to meet Aug. 27, the Sentinel reports.

Two survey findings released last month by the Digital Citizens Alliance found that more than three-fourths of young males feel that PED use in professional sports puts pressure on youth athletes to use those same substances.

Fewer than one in five adults, however, believes steroid use to be a major problem among high school athletes, according to a survey released earlier this year by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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