Originally created 09/25/98

N.J. schools expected to discourage use of andro



NEWARK, N.J. -- The federation overseeing sports at about 440 high schools in New Jersey is expected to urge its members to discourage athletes from using diet supplements such as androstenedione and creatine, an official said Thursday.

Uncertainty over the effects of such substances, which are sold in health-food stores, prompted a similar advisory last month by its national organization.

The supplements cannot be banned by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, whose members have over 200,000 students in 37 sports, said associate director James C. Loper.

Individual school districts, however, can ban their use, Loper said. A bill pending in the state Legislature seeks to bar minors from buying "andro."

Sales of the testosterone-producing pills rose nearly fivefold since The Associated Press reported last month that Mark McGwire has used the pills for more than a year.

After that, the National Federation of State High School Associations said high school coaches and staff should never "recommend or permit the use of any drug, medication or food supplement sole for performance enhancing purposes."