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Alex Rodriguez
New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez loosens up before the start of a Class AA baseball game with the Trenton Thunder against the Reading Phillies, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013, in Trenton, N.J. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Can Athletes Still Be Role Models?

Buffalo, NY (WBEN) As Major League Baseball prepares to punish superstars for using performance enhancing drugs, some are wondering if athletes should be role models.

Dick Gallagher, founder of WNY High School Sports Magazine and former head of Alcohol and Drug Dependency Services, says athletes who use performance enhancing drugs are sending a dangerous message to kids who look up to them. "You send messages to kids, that's the way you get to the majors, by taking PEDs and steroids. They not only have short term but long term consequences for using the drugs," says Gallagher. Those consequences include circulatory, lungs, even affecting your brain. "What people forget is that PEDs are addictive. When you look at some of these people, you wonder why in the world would they need it. They tried it, they liked it, now they can't get it away from it," notes Gallagher. He says kids who look up to athletes like Alex Rodriguez (pictured) and others may learn there are consequences when suspensions are handed out.

But Gallagher says not every pro athlete is bad. If you want to look up to a pro athlete, it just has to be the right one. "You look at the thousands of NFL players, and the people who are arrested are in the hundreds, but they get all the publicity. But there are also those who obey the law, serve the community and are great husbands and fathers," says Gallagher.

He warns Biogenesis is being investigated for giving PEDs to high school athletes.

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Topics : Human InterestSports
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Alex RodriguezDick Gallagher
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