Recently, an arbitrator ruled that New York Yankees’ Third Baseman, Alex Rodriguez would be suspended for the entire 2014 Major League Baseball Season and Post-Season as a result of violating the Major League Baseball performance enhancing drug policy. The issue of performance enhancing drugs is not a new phenomenon; however, the ease and use of obtaining these drugs have led to an increase in use by athletes in youth leagues and high school athletics. How do commissioners and sports leagues properly regulate their leagues?
During an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes, Anthony Bosch described how he would inject Alex Rodriguez with “Testosterone, insulin growth factor one, human growth hormone, and some different forms of peptides.” There are some medical conditions which may require injecting testosterone, or human growth hormone; however, the vast majority of concern arises from the oft-label use of these products.
As youth and high school sports leagues deal with the issue of performance enhancing substances. It is of the utmost importance that the league has a clear, unambiguous series of bylaws that handle this evolving issue. Twenty years ago, the thought of youth players using performance enhancing substances was completely foreign. Now, players are being recruited by major colleges at younger and younger ages. Recently ESPN featured on its award winning, daily SportsCenter program, a story on elementary school student athletes that are being recruited to play college basketball, as they are playing on their school’s varsity teams. The pressure of youths to play at a high level at a very young age continues to increase in the American sports culture.
At The Ticktin Law Group, we have experience with drafting sports bylaws and regulations, and our attorneys use that experience to craft a specific set of specialized guidelines for use by sports leagues. If you participate on the board of a sports league, or have children that play in sports leagues, make sure to let your board know that they need to make sure that they have a proper series of bylaws and regulations. It is always better to be proactive in identifying potential issues before those issues manifest themselves. If you have any questions, feel free to call The Ticktin Law Group for any of your sports and entertainment law needs.