NYU-SCPS Cal Ramsey Panel: The Issue of Steroids in Sports Still a Question

Video Is Now Available On NYU-SCPS Website

NEW YORK, April 9, 2009 - With the 2009 professional baseball season now in full swing, fans across America are still debating their feelings about favorite players who have (or might have) used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. These substances - and whether their use in sports is illegal, immoral, or unfair - was the topic of a timely discussion and debate at The Ninth Annual Cal Ramsey Distinguished Lecture Series, hosted by NYU's Preston Robert Tisch Center of Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management.

The event was moderated by Arthur Miller, NYU University Professor and NYU-SCPS director of public dialogues, with panelists including former president of the Texas Rangers Michael Cramer, now clinical assistant professor, NYU Tisch Center; World Anti-Doping Agency sub-committee chair Dr. Gary Wadler, clinical associate professor, NYU Medical School; NYU's President, John Sexton; former GM of the Montreal Expos and Boston Red Sox, Dan Duquette; and a host of former athletes, sports commentators, and legal scholars.

The discussion, lively and argumentative at times, was spurred on by Miller in the "Socratic dialogue" style he popularized on PBS's Fred Friendly seminar series.  To no one's surprise, a final consensus was never reached on the question of performance-enhancing drugs in sports and how it should be regulated.  Some memorable sound bites included:   

"The General Manager is not Father Flanagan, and this isn't Boys Town," said Duquette. "In professional sports, the General Manager is paid to put the best ball club he can on the field… if you don’t have a testing program that has some teeth in it, with some penalties, you really don't have anything in terms of legislating fairness on the field. You can’t tell who’s using and who’s not using."

"My view is that the risks for an athlete to using supplements is much greater compared to what could be gained," said Dr. Wadler. "Stay away from them because you’re running the risk of a positive drug test… There's no question that most of the tests that I have talked about from around the world, under the World Anti-doping agency, in those last few years were related to dietary supplements…reclassified as steroids…same chemical."

Hosted by the NYU Tisch Center at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies (www.scps.nyu.edu), the Performance-Enhancing Drugs and Sports: Illegal, Immoral, Unfair? panel took place on February 25, 2009. Video from the panel is available in its entirety at http://www.scps.nyu.edu/cal-ramsey.

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More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create a vibrant professional and academic environment that educates over 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe each year. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by nearly 28,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses and Diploma Programs. The School's community is enriched by more than 31,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu.