Dr. Jordan Metzl kicks off the Vail Symposiums season
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado In the immediate shadows of the Mitchell Report, which charged Americas pastime with a serious drug culture from top to bottom, the microbiology of sports medicine is bigger than a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning. But the 80 baseball players listed in the Mitchell Report are not alone in the hazy jumble of allegations linking superstars to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Other icons such as Marion Jones and Floyd Landis have faced harsh repercussions from the alleged use of restricted drugs. As these legendary stars are toppling from their thrones, many people are left wondering if the fine-tuning of orthopedic technology and development of magical elixirs has launched us into a time of bionic athletes.
The Mitchell Report and baseball drug scandal brings to the public light something which has been going on for a long time: the use of performance-enhancing drugs by athletes who are trying to improve performance by any means necessary, Dr. Jordan Metzl says. It raises many questions, both ethical and health related, which deserve significant consideration.What are the inherent dangers and benefits of these new methods of care and enhancement? Can we address our bodies earlier and alleviate the long-term damage caused by young athlete specialization? Can we use our new understandings and resources to keep our bodies agile longer? What repercussions do new findings from concussions to arthritis have on the building of bones for life? On Thursday at 5:30 p.m., plunge into this hot topic with the Vail Symposium. Aptly titled Doping Scandals to Knee Injury Prevention: Sports Medicine in Todays World the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, will address these issues and others at the Sonnenalp Resort of Vail.Metzl, a nationally recognized sports-medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, five-time Ironman triathlete, 25-time marathon runner and international spokesman for health and fitness, will take the audience through the field of sports medicine, from supreme athletes to our youngest record makers, to taking our own bodies through a lifetime of activity. His patients include thousands of athletes, from young future stars involved in Olympic Development programs to elder athletes who run marathons in their 80s.As the world gets more competitive in every way, developing elite-level athletes has become another way for countries to compete, Metzl said. How can we do this fairly but still be competitive? It requires a team effort. Everyone has to play a part; athletes, parents and coaches must work together to form a system that encourages both safety and good results.Metzl is the co-founder of The Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes at Hospital for Special Surgery, one of the first sports-medicine centers dedicated to the treatment of sports injuries in children and adolescent athletes. He is frequently invited to present educational groups in the United States and around the world. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books The Young Athlete, A Sports Doctors Complete Guide for Parents (Little Brown, 2002) and Sports Medicine in the Pediatric Office: A Case-Based Text with Video (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2007). A medical contributor for ABC News, Metzl has also been featured as a spokesman on sports-medicine issues on CBS News, NBC News, the Today show and National Public Radio. He also contributes to The New York Times and is the monthly medical columnist for Triathlete magazine. For more information, visit http://www.vailsymposium.org or call 476-0954.