BOSTON The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency partnered with the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy on six public service spots breaking today that present the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs to young athletes.
"USADA's ads send the right message at the right time," said John Walters, director of the ONDCP. "As Americans watch the Olympics, they'll be reminded of the importance of playing clean and playing healthy."
The spots feature athletes who will participate in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, including weightlifter Tara Nott Cunningham and track and field's John Godina.
"It's important to get out [the message] to youth that it's important to compete drug-free," said Cunningham.
Youth's nonmedical use of steroids has increased steadily since 1996, when it stood at 1.9 percent for 12th graders, according to a National Institute of Drug Abuse survey. The peak year was 2002, when 4 percent reported steriod use. Last year's results show a decline to 3.5 percent among 12th graders.