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The stakes are high for today's aspiring athletes. The rewards for being big, strong, quick and fast entice some kids to “get an edge” on competition. Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) include anabolic steroids which build muscle mass by stimulating protein growth, and human growth hormones which stimulate natural sex steroids such as testosterone and estrogen, also to increase body mass. Surveys have documented the use of these illegal and unapproved drugs by American high school athletes. Studies have also found these drugs are increasingly being used by this age group to improve physical appearance. Advocates warn there have not been any studies to determine the safe or long-term consumption levels of PEDs for children. All PEDs have adverse side effects and many advocates believe the use of these drugs will shorten one's lifespan. It has been estimated that up to 12% of boys and 3% of girls use anabolic steroids in high school. Most of these students began using at 16 and many have done multiple cycles. Studies have also found some (4%) of our middle school students, ages 9 to 13, are also using PEDs. In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled that PED testing for high school athletes is constitutional. Supporters claim this testing serves as a deterrent and also provides students with an excuse to say no to these dangerous drugs. Proposed Legislation: S.585 - United States Anti-Doping Agency Reauthorization Act of 2021 Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Jerry Moran (KS)
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