Parents and coaches should take an active role in combating the problem of supplement use among adolescents. Fair play and sound nutritional practices should be stressed in youth sports over winning-at-all-costs. Coaches need to educate their players about the harmful side effects of supplements as well as their illegal nature and the unfair advantage that may be derived from using performance-enhancing supplements. Intervention programs using peers to communicate the message have shown promise. For these programs to work, coaches must provide proper nutritional and strength training, enforce a no supplement policy, and de-emphasize scare tactics (5). For an example of an intervention that has shown progress, check out the article “Fortifying students against steroid use” from the Physician and Sportsmedicine Online (5).
[ Editor's Note: Chryste Gaines, MBA, Olympic gold and bronze medal sprinter and former teammate of Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, stated the following in a Dec. 22, 2008 email to in response to the IOC ruling:
"We are being unfairly punished. If the drug testing agencies cannot determine if an athlete is taking performance enhancing drugs how are the teammates supposed to know?... It negates all the family functions, church functions, and social events we missed in the name of winning an Olympic medal." ]