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Biden Teams Up With Sports Illustrated to Unveil New Champion Award

Location: Washington, DC

Biden Teams Up With Sports Illustrated to Unveil New Champion Award

In an effort to inform high school athletes and coaches about the dangers of steroids and drugs in sports, U.S. Senators Joe Biden (D-DE) and John McCain (R-AZ) today joined top executives from Sports Illustrated in announcing a $1 million grant to a non-profit organization doing exemplary work in the sports arena. The Oregon Health & Science University's ATLAS and ATHENA programs were awarded Sports Illustrated's first annual Champion Award at a ceremony today at the National Press Club.

This partnership will initiate a national program of effective drug prevention and health promotion for more than seven million young athletes involved in high school sports nationwide.

"Steroid use by young people is a serious health issue. A lot of kids don't know harmful this stuff really is," said Biden, Co-Chairman of the Senate Drug Caucus. "I am pleased to join Sports Illustrated in presenting this award to Oregon's Health & Science University's ATLAS and ATHENA programs."

Senator Biden is the author of the bill that first outlawed anabolic steroids in 1990 as well as the 2004 bill that updated the law to ban 18 new substances and over-the-counter dietary supplements that were used as performance enhancing drugs.

"This program will teach kids at school, but we have to do it at home, too. Eight out of ten parents never talk to their children about the health dangers of steroid use. But with steroid use among young athletes rapidly increasing, I hope parents and grandparents will take the time to warn their children," said Biden. "This week, I hope we share the thrill of watching the Olympics with our kids. And when Americans win the gold, remind them: our athletes are the best in the world because of raw talent, hard workouts, and proper diet, not steroids. Sports is a meritocracy and cheating should never be tolerated."

Biden's Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 added 18 substances to the list of banned anabolic steroids, including androstenedione (also known as "andro") and tetrahydrogestrinone (THG). Biden's measure also provides $15 million for education programs to teach kids about the dangers of steroids and stiffens criminal penalties for those caught making, selling, or possessing these substances.

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