A symposium at DeSales University in the USA takes place today discussing the use of steroids in sport. It is hosted by the Bioethics Society and offers the following outline. Bioethics Society to discuss steroid use, Tuesday, March 29

"With opening day just around the corner, the U.S. House of Representatives recently took a mighty swing at Major League Baseball's efforts to eradicate steroid use. Another pitch now comes from the Baranzano Society on bioethics. This regional association will sponsor the forum, "Lotions & Potions: The Quest for Performance Enhancement" from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29, in the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales. The program will feature a panel of experts in health, science and business, who will discuss the facts and fictions of performance enhancing drugs. The event is open to the public free of charge.

The Congressional hearings shone a national spotlight on baseball players and the prevalence of steroid use in record-breaking performances. Yet use of steroids appears to be rampant, even among amateur athletes and young people, in general. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points to a 300 percent increase in the last ten years, with more than 500,000 high school students claiming to have tried steroids.

In addition, according to Rep. Tom Davis, a survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the University of Michigan found that "the perception among high school students that steroids are harmful has dropped from 71 percent in 1992, to 56 percent in 2004." Yet, anabolic steroids are regulated as illegal controlled substances.

During the round table discussion at DeSales, the panel of experts will address the health ramifications, ethical dilemmas, and social consequences of using pharmacological advances to enhance personal performance. The panelists include: Dr. Jay Hoffman, professor of health at The College of New Jersey and vice-president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, who will report on his meetings with professional baseball coaches during spring training. Also, Richard Bartolacci, founder and president of JBN Enterprises, who will address the issue from the viewpoint of the sports and nutrition supplement industry, and Father Douglas Burns, OSFS, director of the Sport & Exercise Science program at DeSales, who will speak on the subject in terms of sport ethics."

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