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Former Major Leaguer weighs in on baseball scandal and influence on youth

By JASON POWLES

ESPN and the Associated Press are both reporting that Major League Baseball is seeking to suspend some 20 players that are linked to the Miami-area clinic that is the focus of a continuing scandal involving performance enhancing drugs, otherwise known as PEDs.

A report indicates that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Milwaukee Brewers' slugger Ryan Braun are two of the players under investigation. Two sources tell ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that the founder of the now-closed Bio-Genesis of America has reached an agreement to cooperate with the probe by Major League Baseball.

A source familiar with the case says the commissioner's office may seek 100-game suspensions for A-Rod, Braun and others and 20 players total could be suspended in some way, shape or form.

It could be the biggest scandal to rock baseball in decades and a local fitness expert who spent a brief time in Major League Baseball says knowledge is power in preventing the area's youngest athletes from falling into the PED trap.

Former Major Leaguer and current owner of the All American Fitness Center, Jim LaFountain, says the testing procedures are 3-5 years behind the drugs that are being used. He feels that in order to reduce the usage of illegal drugs in sports, you have to start at an early age by educating kids.

"The key is to begin at a young age, little league, youth soccer and show them the side effects of steroids," LaFountain said. "That ranges from deformities in their hormone system to things later in life that they are afflicted with."

He also also stresses that taking performance enhancing drugs is anything but a guarantee that your performance will be enhanced.

"Teach them to understand that there's no quick fix," LaFountain added. "Any improvement they generate over the course of a career is a process. Even if they did take steroids and don't practice hard enough, you wouldn't get any better."

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