The National Federation of State High School Associations is distributing a pair of videos it produced to high schools across the country in an attempt to educate students, coaches and parents about illegal steroid use.
A 2003 survey by the Centers for Disease Control found that 6.1 percent of teenage respondents had taken a steroid injection or pill at least once. Last year, a University of Michigan survey found that 3.4 percent of high school seniors had taken steroids at some point. However, a NFHS executive believes the steroid use might be even more extensive.
"We think it is a significant problem," NFHS chief operating officer Bob Gardner said. "It's just so hard to get your hands around it. To throw out any kind of percentage would be totally a guess. I don't think there is any question it is more widespread than we initially believed."
The videos, which NFHS officials hope will be shown at preseason meetings, are nine minutes each, one designed to be shown to coaches and athletes, the other to parents. The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association and the Virginia High School League expect to receive copies of the video shortly and distribute them to member schools, officials said. Representatives from the D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association could not be reached for comment yesterday.
-- Josh Barr