How the Mitchell Report May Affect Teenage Athletes

The Mitchell Report might be embarrassing for baseball and deflating for fans. But for Denise Garibaldi, it was gratifying.

Garibaldi's son, Rob, was a star high school baseball player, who after four years of steroid use, committed suicide in 2002. Garibaldi said he idolized players like Barry Bonds, whom Rob thought were using steroids and getting away with it.

"I was actually very pleased to see those names up there. In a way, I feel Rob has been vindicated." Garibaldi said. "He was inspired by their use."

Steroids use can cause serious side effects: heart disease, liver tumors and depression.

It could be even riskier for teenage athletes, who often feel enormous pressure from coaches, teammates and scouts, to get bigger, stronger and faster. Using steroids is an easy way to do that.

Paul Maytorena, a high school baseball coach, said, "When they get older, they definitely feel pressure, especially when they are saying there is a chance you could get paid."

But now there is reason to believe that young athletes are having second thoughts about performance-enhancing drugs because they are seeing other users get caught.

Since 2004, when baseball's steroids scandal began exploding, the number of 10th- and 12th-graders who say they are using steroids has dropped by nearly half.

According to Dr. Gary Wadler of the World Anti-Doping Agency, "There is no question the revelations have made kids aware that these are very dangerous drugs."

There have been nationwide educational campaigns and new testing systems put in place.

Since 2005, New Jersey, Florida and Texas have started random testing of high school athletes. And school districts in some 26 other states have testings, bans or policies in place -- policies created, in part, as a reaction to discoveries about baseball's steroids era.

Garibaldi is convinced baseball's list of shame might even save lives. "Sometimes, I wish there were even more names up there."

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