Chapter[ XI. Recommendations ]
Section[ C. Educational and Related Recommendations to Decrease Use of Performance Enhancing Substances ]
C. Educational and Related Recommendations to Decrease Use of Performance Enhancing Substances
Critical to any effort to deter performance enhancing substance use in Major
League Baseball is an effective educational program designed to inform players about the
dangers of substance use in a way that will resonate with them. Over the last several years, the
Commissioner’s Office and the Players Association have made an increased effort to provide
players and some club personnel with educational materials on performance enhancing
Some of these efforts have been effective. For example, in 2003 the
Commissioner’s Office hired Dr. Gary Green as a consultant responsible for, among other things,
“[d]eveloping and implementing educational programs and materials for Major League and
minor league players” regarding “anabolic steroids and [other] performance enhancing
agents.”574 Dr. Green has done an effective job of educating doctors and other medical personnel
on the dangers of performance enhancing substances. The Texas Rangers have retained Dr. Jay
Hoffman, Professor in Health and Education Science and a former National Football League
player, as a confidential resource for its players regarding performance enhancing substance use.
Additional efforts have included the production of an educational video, in both
English and Spanish, that is shown to all players in spring training and the distribution of posters
and educational pamphlets. Spring training educational meetings for players have been arranged.
Dr. Green also has conducted annual educational sessions for team physicians, athletic trainers,
and club employee assistance professionals.
Nevertheless, we heard criticism from both former players and club personnel
about the current anti-steroids education programs. Some criticized the perceived shallowness of
the efforts, while others could not remember the programs at all, even though they were with
clubs when the programs were supposed to have been presented. Plainly, there is much room for
In contrast, the issues of gambling, other threats to the integrity of the game, and
players’ safety receive prominent educational attention. Nearly everyone we interviewed could
vividly recall an educational program addressing gambling.575 Major League Baseball’s
574 Dr. Green has a long background in testing for, and education related to, performance
enhancing substances, including serving as director of UCLA’s intercollegiate drug testing
program, as the chairman of the NCAA’s Subcommittee on Drug Testing and Drug Education,
and as a USADA panel member.
575 The problem of gambling predates the Players Association and collective bargaining
by many decades. Gambling by players on the Chicago White Sox was the impetus for the
creation of the position of Commissioner of Baseball in 1920. For that reason, the
Commissioner can act unilaterally with respect to gambling (although even for gambling his
disciplinary powers are subject to the “just cause” limitation of the Basic Agreement).
educational programs regarding player safety include dramatic role playing and memorable
personal testimonials that are particularly effective in conveying their messages.
In this section I propose a series of recommendations intended to improve Major
League Baseball’s performance enhancing substance education program. These
recommendations are derived from many of the interviews conducted in this investigation,
including interviews of a number of experts who have first-hand experience with educating elite
athletes on the dangers of performance enhancing substances.