Ethics pledge asks professionals to deter use of banned substances
INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Continued controversy over the use of banned substances by elite athletes has prompted leading medical and sports organizations to call for stringent ethical principles for physicians, allied medical professionals, coaches, athletic trainers and others. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and a growing list of other organizations have formed Professionals Against Doping in Sports (PADS) to unite in their commitment to drug-free sports.
The recent announcement that Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador tested positive for trace amounts of Clenbuterol, a banned substance, has heightened interest in doping in cycling and other sports. Contador has appeal rights; however, he faces a possible two-year suspension and loss of his title as winner of the 2010 Tour de France. ACSM has long decried the use of performance-enhancing substances, in statements ranging from a 1984 Position Stand to this year's support for federal legislation regulating dietary supplements.
PADS member organizations are asked to adopt standards modeled on the Statement of Principles of Ethical Behavior for ACSM Members. That declaration asks, in part, that members:
- Will treat athletes only as their medical conditions warrant and will observe the rules of the appropriate anti-doping organizations regarding use of prohibited substances and methods;
- Will not advise, aid or abet any athlete to use prohibited substances or methods of doping; and
- Will use all means possible to deter doping by athletes.
"At the forefront of concern about steroids and doping is the short- and long-term health and welfare of the athlete, himself or herself," said Thomas Best, M.D., Ph.D., FACSM, President of ACSM and a team physician with The Ohio State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Department of Family Medicine. "In addition, you want competitors in sports to be using natural ability and trained talent to compete, without the issue or suspicion of drug use intended to provide an unfair advantage."
The PADS website (www.nodope.org) lists dozens of partner and member organizations, including sports governing bodies, medical societies and advocacy organizations. “We are all working to ensure that the professional community of physicians, scientists, athletic trainers and others are united in commitment to drug-free sports,” said Richard Hilderbrand, Ph.D., a member of the PADS task force. “These organizations are taking steps individually and collectively to reduce this major challenge to health in sports and preserve the integrity of sports performance and legacies.”
“PADS is not passing judgment on any individual athlete,” said Elizabeth Joy, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM, who also serves on the PADS task force. “We are speaking up to help protect the integrity of sports performance and athletic achievements as well as the health of all athletes. Elite athletes serve as role models for younger and aspiring competitors and should demonstrate the highest personal standards. This includes scrupulously avoiding the use or ingestion of banned substances. We’re calling on professionals who work with athletes to commit to helping rid sports of banned substances.”
About the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
ACSM is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 40,000 international, national and regional members are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.
About the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management processes for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs.
NOTE: More information is available on the PADS website at www.nodope.org.
SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine