The athletic trainer for the St. Louis Cardinals for three decades says Missourians cannot ignore the dangers anabolic steroids pose to young athletes. Doctor Gene Gieselman, the Cardinals trainer from 19-68 through 19-97, says the worst drug he had to deal with in the clubhouse was cocaine, in the 80s, an issue resolved through education and testing.
He suggests the same techniques be used to battle steroid use by high school students. Gieselman tells a Senate committee, "Don’t one of you people put your head in the sand and don’t think it’s happening in the state of Missouri. That’s ignorance."
Gieselman says nationals studies show four percent of all high school students–17 million of them–have taken steroids, and freshmen girls who want flat stomachs are among the biggest users, and one-half of the student users are not athletes.
Gieselman has seen articles quoting coaches who don’t think there’s a problem in their locker rooms. "Where are you?" he asked.
Gieselman supports a proposed law from Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit that would require random steroid testing for athletes whose high school teams make it into post-season tournaments. Bartle says the state can’t afford a more expansive program. His bill would finance the tests by raising ticket prices at state tournament events.
A senate committee is studying the proposal.