You may have seen the stories regarding athletes who have used steroids in order to enhance their performance. I wanted to let you know Little League International’s position on this subject.
As the only youth sports organization with a Federal Charter of Incorporation, Little League Baseball, Incorporated, is obliged by its charter to advance the health and welfare of children. Since it was founded in 1939, Little League has provided wholesome and healthy athletic competition to tens of millions of American children, not with the goal of creating great athletes, but helping to create good citizens. Through the sports of baseball and softball, Little League teaches that teamwork, sportsmanship, and fair play are values to be carried forward to adulthood.
Our concern is with impressionable children who may hear about athletes taking steroids. As children develop, their parents should teach them that abuse of steroids and their precursors is wrong, has serious health consequences, and is tantamount to cheating. Little League will continue to provide educational information on this and other subjects relevant to the health and well-being of child athletes through ASAP (A Safety Awareness Program) and other vehicles available to us.
Each of more than 7,000 local Little League programs worldwide plays under the same rules and regulations — one of the hallmarks of Little League Baseball and Softball. The “even playing field” is and always has been Little League’s goal.
The dangers inherent in the use of anabolic steroids are well documented. They may lead to further drug abuse, serious health problems, and death.
Thus, the use of these performance-enhancing substances is completely contrary to the mission and ethics of Little League.
Little League enthusiastically supported the legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law this past October that limits the availability of anabolic steroids and their precursors to adolescent athletes. The legislation curtailed sales of steroid precursors, expanded the list of banned anabolic steroids and established a grant program to teach young people about the dangers of steroids.
Further, Little League offers its full support to any initiative that may reduce the widespread use of such substances, and increases awareness of the dangers involved in their use by adolescent athletes.
STEPHEN D. KEENER
President and Chief Executive Officer
Little League International