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Sports Illustrated Presents First Annual SI Champion Award to Oregon Health & Science University’s ATLAS and ATHENA Programs


February 09, 2006, The Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), with its landmark steroid and drug prevention/health promotion programs ATLAS and ATHENA, has been named the recipient of Sports Illustrated’s first annual SI Champion Award, given to a non-profit for its exemplary work in the sports arena. The announcement was made today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. by SI President Mark Ford.

The selection was the culmination of an open application process for non-profits that are involved in youth sports or are headed by a sports figure. A total of 48 organizations applied.

Seven million young athletes are engaged in school-sponsored sports in the United States today. School sports, however, do not safeguard these athletes from drug use or other unhealthy behaviors. Based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest information (2003), approximately 850,000 high school students have admitted using steroids. Since 1993, steroid use among this age group has increased from one in every 45 to one in 16.

To help combat the problem, ATLAS (Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids) and ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives), were developed to reach male and female high school athletes, respectively. Through the partnership with SI, the programs will receive cash and public service announcements in the magazine totaling one million dollars to create a network of SI Schools that will serve as national models, demonstrating the healthy mission of sports and how student-athletes can become winners for life.

SI will also create an SI Schools website, which will focus on state-of-the-art nutrition, exercise training, and drug prevention for athletic directors, coaches, parents and young athletes.

“Our partnership with OHSU and the ATLAS and ATHENA programs is a perfect fit for SI in these times,” said Ford. “The magazine has been at the forefront of reporting about the use of steroids and drugs at the professional level, but shockingly little has been done in regard to how these drugs are infecting high school sports. We think it serves both the spirit and the mission of SI to put our weight behind such an important issue and worthwhile organization.”

During Spring 2006, four regional sites will be awarded Sports Illustrated Workshops, designed to inform coaches and high schools about the issue of steroids and drugs in sports. When workshop sites are determined, selected schools from those regions will receive SI School grants to place ATLAS and ATHENA in the schools during the 2006-2007 school year.

"Through our partnership with Sports Illustrated, the ATLAS and ATHENA programs will provide young athletes with the tools to succeed without the use of drugs,” said Dr. Linn Goldberg, Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Health Promotion & Sports Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University.

ATLAS, a multi-component program for male high school athletes, first instituted in 1993, is scientifically shown to reduce risk factors and use of anabolic steroids, alcohol and other illicit drugs while promoting healthy nutrition and exercise behaviors. Proven results include: new substance use decreased 50 percent; new anabolic steroid use decreased 50 percent; occurrences of drinking and driving declined 24 percent; a lower index of alcohol and drug use; reduced use of performance-enhancing supplements; and improved nutrition and exercise behaviors.

ATHENA, which began reaching schools in 1997, features the promotion of healthy nutrition and effective exercise training as alternatives to harmful behaviors. The objectives are: reduce young women athletes’ disordered eating habits; deter use of body-shaping substances; improve sport performance, with guidelines targeting the specific needs of young women. Proven results include: less use of athletic enhancing substances; less use of diet pills; less riding in a car with a drinking driver; greater seatbelt use; less new sexual activity; improved nutrition behaviors and reduced long-term use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco.

ATLAS and ATHENA are programs within the newly-created Center for Health Promotion Research at OHSU. Financial support for the center is directed through the OHSU Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation that funds the center’s efforts to bring innovative and effective strategies to public service.

Drs. Linn Goldberg and Diane Elliot began investigating the reasons young athletes used anabolic steroids, alcohol and other drugs and how to prevent their use in 1987. Since that time their research has involved over 7,500 high school students. After developing potential strategies they applied for and received two independent research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Those programs, now known as ATLAS and ATHENA, have undergone randomized controlled evaluations involving over 4,000 student-athletes in more than 50 high schools and have been disseminated for use in more than 60 schools in 31 states and Puerto Rico. The results of the programs are published in leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

ATLAS AND ATHENA are the only programs recommended by the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, recognized as model curricula. For more information about the Sports Illustrated Workshops, contact

About SI
SI is a multimedia sports brand that takes the consumer into the heart and soul of sports. The SI franchise is anchored by Sports Illustrated, the most respected voice in sports journalism which reaches a weekly audience of more than 20 million adults, and, the magazine’s 24/7 sports news website that delivers more than 150 original stories to its users each week. The SI franchise also includes Sports Illustrated For Kids (, a monthly magazine targeted to kids age 8 and up; SI Presents the magazine’s specialty publishing division; as well as SI Digital, SI Books, SI Pictures, SI Productions and SI Events. Founded in 1954, SI is a division of Time Inc., the world’s leading magazine publishing company and a subsidiary of Time Warner.


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