The Truth about Steroids

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About Brian Grasso 15th Feb, 2008
The Truth about Steroids and Young Athletes

Don Hooton is as nice a man as I have ever met.

A perfect gentleman, really.

Incredibly funny and very at ease - the kind of guy you can like the second you meet him.

Donfs son died tragically on July 15, 2003.

He was just 16 years old.

Taylor Hooton was a 6Œ 2 strong and muscular high school athlete.

In an attempt to become bigger and stronger, he turned to anabolic steroids.

The depression that resulted from using this strong chemical agent left him in an isolated and lonely world.

He took his own life as a result.

I came to know of Don Hooton and his sonfs story when I saw him and his wife one night on TV talking about their ordeal.

I was moved beyond belief at the sheer sadness in the voices and eyes of Mr and Mrs. Hooton.

I immediately found their website online ( and called the office number expecting to get an answering machine - I wanted them to know that I was happy to volunteer for their organization in any capacity that would help.

It was 9:30 on a Friday night and I was stunned when someone actually answered the phone.

gHello, this is Don Hootonh.

gMr. Hooton, sir, my name is Brian Grasso. I just saw your story on TV and I am truly sorry for your lossh.

Itfs all I could seem to get out.

For about 3 years prior to me chatting with Don, I had been doing some local eanti-steroid in youth sportsf seminars for parents, coaches and kids.

I wouldnft so much talk about the evils of steroid use as much as I would relate information as to why kids simply didnft need them.

I did these events without any compensation or fees - It was important for me to get a message across to the teenagers and their families in my area that a solid training program and quality nutrition plan was all that was necessary for sporting success.

In the summer of 2005, I asked Don Hooton if he would come to Chicago and speak with me at one of my events.

He graciously agreed and my life hasnft been the same since.

In front of 450 community members, young athletes, parents and coaches, Don gave his story.

He talked about Taylor.

He expressed his concern for the well-being of young people.

He mesmorized that audience - including me.

The strength and conviction in his voice and the emotion with which he conveyed his message was something that I will never forget.

Roger Clemens may have taken steroids.

Congressmen and Senators nationwide are going to eget to the bottomf of that for us.

But Taylor Hooton is dead.

And his father, bless him sincerely, wonft soon let us forget that the real tragedy in the whole steroid debate is not whether some high-end, elite athlete did or didnft usec

c Itfs that kids all over this country and beyond idolize these sporting herofs.

You want the truth?

I really donft care if Roger Clemens took steroids.

If he did, I hope he is punished.

Ifm worried about that 16 year old athlete in your town who wants to get bigger and stronger.

How many Taylor Hootonfs do we need before we realize this isnft about Roger Clemens?

I would love to hear your comments on this.

Click below and let me know how you feelc