Those of you who subscribe to Sports Illustrated or perhaps saw something in the local paper know the story about Corey Gahan. He's an in-line skater who at 13 years old was given steroids by his father. Although a solid skater, and well on his way to becoming a true champion, his father felt he needed an edge. Of course, the kid eventually fails a drug test and the hammer falls on his father and a trainer. It's the tragic tale of an American father wanting the victory more than anything and the champion kid who ends up suffering. And since he's so young, we won't know how much suffering there will be for quite some time.
Here's the link to the story for those who are interested in more detail: http://preview.tinyurl.com/24b3xv (tinyurl SI preview window)
On a related note, the Illinois High School Association announced on Monday that during the 2008-2009 school year, random steroid testing for high school atheletes was to commence. There are a few other states who do this; NJ, TX, and FL for example. I guess the important question is will that effectively combat the problem? There is no known test for HGH so any student taking it will be ok, for now. And with the rate of testing very minimal throughout the student population, the chances of getting caught for other performance-enhancing drugs are minimal.
Here's the link describing what's happening in Illinois: http://preview.tinyurl.com/29vwkl (tinyurl Chicago Tribune preview window)
The cynic in me says that this is only the beginning as more and more synthetic compounds and newer techniques are developed. There's just too much money involved. Also, younger kids are being exposed more and more and inevitably will begin using.
What's the problem? Too much money in big time sports? A culture or society that continually accepts pharmaceutical solutions to nature's limitations? Or an eroding morality that permits rule infringement or less than pristine sportsmanship at the expense of true competition?