WVU Surgeon’s Book Addresses Steroids

Bailes was NFL Team Physician


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A soon-to-be-published book, co-authored by a West Virginia University neurosurgeon, says that children are at risk from the win-at-all-costs culture prevalent in American sport.

“When Winning Costs Too Much,” available in early April from Taylor Trade Publishing, is a comprehensive analysis of the rise in steroids and supplement abuse at all levels of sport, including our most powerful and popular organizations.

WVU’s chair of neurosurgery, Julian Bailes, M.D., wrote the book with John McCloskey, a senior editor in the sports department at the Houston Chronicle.

Children in dangerous social situations are becoming a part of a cycle that encourages drugs to enhance their chance of athletic success. This abuse, combined with a decline in respect for all authority - coaches, officials, rulebooks, parents - and the increasing number of high-profile athletes who lack respect for sportsmanship and fair competition, has created a sports environment that breeds bad behavior.

There are solutions, however. And with experience perfectly suited to identify the problems, understand their severity and develop realistic plans to attack them.

Dr. Bailes and McCloskey have invested years of research and critical thinking to present what is truly a revelation of how dire the condition of competition has become.

Despite levels of death and disease among Italian soccer players, American professional wrestlers, European cyclists and bodybuilders worldwide, that are far above normal levels for men in similar age groups, athletes continue to use steroids, blood-doping drugs and supplements that are as dangerous as ephedrine.  Kids who imitate these athletes are more susceptible to the dangers of the chemicals because their bodies have not fully developed.

In addition to the physiological nightmares of blowing past performance limits, serious social problems can also be attributed to sports: rape by athletes, violence toward their girlfriends, academic fraud, extra benefits to amateur athletes, coaches bending eligibility rules every way imaginable, Little League coaches and parents setting terrible examples by losing their tempers and overusing kids, and many more problems. Despite its many negative aspects, sport remains a crucial character-building development tool and weaves a strong community fabric across the world. This book - unmatched in the depth of these issues - offers expert advice on how sports can remain a strong, viable part of society.


Praise for When Winning Costs Too Much:

"The use of performance-enhancing drugs is an invidious practice, condoned by too many and ignored by more. This work explores the nature and extent of such activity and its authors are to be congratulated for turning over some of the rocks and exposing the rot that threatens the lives and well-being of young athletes." 
-- Richard W. Pound, Founding Chair of the World Anti-Doping Agency, member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for 25 years, and author of "Inside the Olympics: A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Politics, the Scandals and the Glory of the Games."

"Have you ever wondered what's happened to the 'purity' of sport - where playing the game for sheer enjoyment and the thrill of competition were reward enough; where fair play, i.e. ethics and integrity, were an integral part of each contest? Dr. Bailes and McCloskey have invested years of study to produce this incredibly informative book on the 'state of the sports world.' As a former professional athlete I am ecstatic that the authors of 'When Winning Costs Too Much' are willing to identify and confront the 'wrongs' in the world of sport. This book should be required reading for the parents of all aspiring athletes!"
  -- Steve Bartkowski, two-time Pro Bowl quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons

"I loved the book, and was blown away by all the information and warnings about the impact of concussions and steroid use. I was forced to retire prematurely due to concussions so I know first hand of the dangers from head trauma. The book will help all who read it to know what takes place at the time of a concussion, what to look for, and the best way to care for that person before returning back to action. The information on the prevalence of steroid use was mind-boggling. Every player, coach and parent should read it so that everyone understands the potential disasters that can occur."
-Merril Hoge, former Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears running back and current ESPN analyst

"In 'When Winning Costs Too Much,' Julian Bailes and John McCloskey provide factual data and compelling testimonials to present a devastating portrait of sports in America today. Together the authors have assembled more hard-won research than I've ever seen on the subject of steroid abuse and its effects not only on the individual performer but also on society as a whole. Here is a screed against a culture that celebrates dopers who cheat to get ahead. It also is a document with a powerful personal message that comes with equal measures of good and bad news. First the good: Only about one out of 10 young athletes in this country is using drugs to help him perform better. Now the bad: Every last one of us is being victimized as a result."

-- John Ed Bradley, All-American center at LSU and Sports Illustrated writer


"Throughout my career I have had both great success and great struggles. But I have always been able to overcome the struggles with honor and with a respect for the rules and integrity of the game. Kids today need to know how important that is to succeed in sports and life. 'When Winning Costs Too Much' can help parents know whether or not their kids are on the right track."

-- Hal Sutton, winner of 12 PGA Tour events, including the 1983 PGA Championship, and the captain of the 2004 Ryder Cup team


"The single greatest lesson I learned from athletics that has contributed to my success in other areas of my life is that winning isn't everything. Somewhere along the way too many people have forgotten that it is the pursuit of success, not success itself, which makes the games worth playing. 'When Winning Costs Too Much' will help parents and athletes understand how much of the journey is lost by taking the easy route."
-- Chris Nowinski, World Wrestling Entertainment star, former Harvard football player, Founding Board Member of Teams of Angels

- WVU -

For more information:
Bill Case, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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