Little League plans PED education program

The Sports Xchange

The battle against performance-enhancing drugs will soon reach the grass roots, as Little League Baseball is prepared to start educating coaches and volunteers about the dangers of juicing.

The Taylor Hooton Foundation, which is partnering with Little League on the initiative, announced the venture on its website. The foundation was started in memory of 17-year-old Taylor Hooton, who committed suicide in 2003. His family believes he became depressed after he got off PEDs.

Don Hooton, the foundation president and Taylor's father, plans to attend the upcoming Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., to speak with participating teams and their families about PEDs.

"We are extraordinarily excited about this," he said. "As much work as we've done over the past 10 years, this offers the largest single audience to our message, to reach out at one time."

The announcement comes shortly after Major League Baseball suspended 14 players for their involvement with Biogenesis of America, a former South Florida clinic that provided PEDs. Thirteen of the players accepted suspensions. New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who is appealing his 211-game ban, formerly was a spokesman for the Hooton Foundation, but the group dropped him after news of his suspension broke.