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Thursday, Sept. 30

ISU to host presentation on supplement use

Riggins speaking to student-athletes     Send a link to a friend

[SEPT. 30, 2004]  NORMAL -- Illinois State athletics has been a leader in educating its student-athletes on dangers and adversities facing them in the 21st century. The department will continue that trend with a presentation at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 5, on the dangers of supplement use. The event in Redbird Arena is open to the public and is free of charge.

Frank Uryasz of the National Center for Drug Free Sport will be on hand to speak, as will Kevin Riggins, father of the late Sean Riggins, a high school football player from Lincoln who died from a heart attack brought on by the use of the dietary supplement ephedra.

The presentation is made possible through NCAA Speaker's Grants requested by Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan, along with funding by the Missouri Valley Conference and the Illinois State athletics department.

Illinois State's Interim Athletics Director Linda Herman welcomes Uryasz and the Riggins family and urges the public, particularly young athletes and their parents, to attend.

"This presentation is an opportunity for our student-athletes and others in the community to become better educated about supplements," Herman said. "We hope that all young athletes and those who care about them will take part in this program."

On Sept. 3, 2002, Sean Riggins suffered the heart attack that eventually led to his untimely death at the age of 16. His parents, Kevin and Debbie, have played an instrumental role in trying to ban ephedra in the United States, as Illinois was the first state to ban the supplement.


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Uryasz founded the National Center for Drug Free Sport in 1999 after serving as the director of sports sciences for the NCAA. Drug Free Sport is located in Kansas City, Mo., and works with sports organizations such as the NCAA and the NFL to help set forth organizational drug policies, as well as conduct research. Drug Free Sport also offers the Dietary Supplement Resource Exchange Center, a confidential hot line and website set up to answer athletes' questions about dietary supplements and banned substances.

Kathy Schniedwind, the head athletic trainer at Illinois State, helped to organize this event.

"We need to realize that supplement use is prevalent, and it's important that Illinois State be in the forefront to do the right thing and educate our athletes," Schniedwind said. "The National Center for Drug Free Sport has been at the forefront of educating people, and we're happy to have them and the Riggins family on campus."

Illinois State has previously offered seminars on a variety of topics, including gambling, sexual harassment and steroid use.

"We do something every year regarding educating student-athletes," Schniedwind said. "It's important that young athletes know the dangers out there and that we continue getting these messages out."

[Illinois State University news release]

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