November 8, 2011
Lebanon, OH – Over the course of a two year investigation, the Warren County’s Prosecutor’s Office and its Drug Task Force have indicted 33 individuals on close to 250 accounts of alleged drug trafficking. These cases have been linked to a multi-state performance enhancing drug trafficking ring. The ongoing investigation began with a tip originating at the Countryside YMCA alleging to suspicion of high school student steroid use, but suspicions have since arisen that two or more local pro athletes are also involved.
According to the commander of the Drug Task Force, the scope of the original investigation was high school athletics, with the goal of figuring out where students were obtaining the drug. Although there is ample evidence to prove student steroid use, the undercover officers involved were not able to identify specific individuals.
Dr. Timothy Kremchek of Beacon Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, who also serves as team physician for multiple area high schools and medical director for the Cincinnati Reds thinks that steroid use at a high school level is definitely possible, although he has not seen any cases personally. He noted that part of the cause may be the pressure to compete for the “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” also bringing up sports injuries caused by overuse. Sometimes trying to meet expectations can be “too much for high school athletes to deal with.”
These students aren’t recreational athletes; they live for sports, and sometimes they feel that their only option to win, improve, or compete at a higher level is to turn to steroids. Kremchek speculated that a performance enhancing drug bust could open the doors for others to bring their use to light, and to seek help. Most parents of users are unaware. Bringing this to the attention of the public will hopefully open everyone’s eyes, especially those of parents.
Although steroids have not been clinically tested like legal drugs, there is ample evidence to suggest side effects include high blood pressure, heart problems, and even cancer. Many physicians also believe that when taken during adolescence, steroids will negatively impact growth and physical development.
In order to protect athletes and encourage them to be clean, Kremchek recommended instituting steroid testing at the high school level. He also suggested that there should be clearly defined, severe consequences to athletes and schools caught using steroids. This would act as a major deterrent and would ultimately protect the student athletes. In Kremchek’s opinion, it’s all about protecting our kids.