Another Doping Scandal Looms for Major League Baseball
For Immediate Release
Nick Berning: (202) 222-0748
As Baseball Owners Gather, Threat of Another Doping Scandal Looms on Horizon
Las VegasThis week, the owners of Major League Baseball (MLB) are meeting to determine policies for the 2009 season.
A watchdog group is urging the owners to use this meeting as an opportunity for MLB to adopt a substance policy prohibiting the dangerous practice of gene-doping, which is already prohibited by Major League Soccer, the National Hockey League and the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as United States law.
Steroid use has already harmed the health and reputation of professional athletes, including professional baseball players. Gene doping poses the risk of another such scandal, said Gillian Madill, genetic technologies campaigner for Friends of the Earth. It is absolutely crucial that Major League Baseball, as a leading professional sports organization, prohibit gene doping for the sake of athletes, fans and purity of sport.
In August 2008, Robert Manfred, the Executive Vice President of MLB promised that MLB would consider adopting an anti-gene doping policy for the 2009 season. Manfred stated that he was aware of the World Anti-Doping Agency policy, and that he understand[s] the significance of [gene doping].
Gene doping is dangerous because it involves altering a persons DNA, which can cause death. Gene therapy, which uses the same technology as gene doping, has killed or caused severe illness in at least five people since trials began in 1999.
Friends of the Earth has been calling on MLB prohibit gene doping since February 2007 because gene doping is cheating and is not safe.
Friends of the Earth (www.foe.org) is the U.S. voice of the worlds largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.