How can sports ruling bodies to regulate their own athletes?
Gary I. Wadler, M.D., FACP, FACSM, FACPM, FCP, is an internist with special expertise in the field of drug use in sports. He is the lead author of the internationally acclaimed textbook, Drugs and the Athlete. Dr. Wadler currently serves as the Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Prohibited List and Methods Sub-Committee and serves as an ex-officio member of WADA’s Health, Medicine, and Research Committee. Additionally, he has served as a Medical Advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, a Trustee of the Board of the American College of Sports Medicine and of the Women’s Sports Foundation. Among his other sports medicine activities, he has served as Tournament Physician of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships.
For his groundbreaking work in the field of drug abuse in sports, Dr Wadler received the International Olympic Committee's President's Prize in 1993. He is a frequent lecturer on the subject and his opinions are widely sought by the print and electronic media nationally and internationally. In 2007, he was selected by the Institute for International Sport as “One of the 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America” and serves Chairman of the Communications and Information Committee of the American College of Sports Medicine. In addition, he is Chairman of the American Ballet Theatre's Medical Advisory Board where he oversees the development of medical guidelines for the healthy and sound training of dancers in the United States. Dr. Wadler is the Chairman of the College Council of the State University of New York at Old Westbury. Dr. Wadler maintains a private practice in Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine in Manhasset, New York and is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
Question: How can sports ruling bodies to regulate their own athletes?
Gary Wadler: Well, probably the arguments that comes back at me-- and I guess I have sort of been one of the more outspoken individuals-- is there are more people watching baseball than ever before. That doesn’t make it right. Just remember Taylor Hooten’s son- I mean, excuse me, just remember Don Hooten’s son, Taylor. When we appeared in Congress, there were three families who lost kids to anabolic steroids. You know, I often say when it comes to the player association who looks out for the good welfare of their players, they should not only be looking out for the financial good welfare of their players, but the health good welfare of their players. The consequences of these drugs are not inconsequential. Just look at what happened in professional wrestling and the number of premature deaths which we think-- we can’t prove, but we’re pretty comfortable-- related to the abuse of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. So what’s it gonna take? I don’t know. I mean many of us have laid out the elements. You know, it’s not like they have to invent the program; it exists. They just have to read it and implement it or get a third party to implement it. You know, nuance changes within their program is not gonna change anything, but that’s where they’re at. So I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if they ever will until such time as public opinion puts enough pressure on them. And right now public opinion is intrigued, you know? Does this record count, doesn’t it count, did this guy take it or didn’t he take it, you know, are these homeruns worthy of being in the Hall of Fame or not being in the Hall of Fame, all those kind of things. People seem to be more interested in those bases that go around than gee, what’s the consequences of all of this? I got into this as a physician and I have watched what’s happened to people. It’s quite distressing.
Recorded on: 04/25/2008
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