CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Sep 23, 2014) - Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus today congratulated the NFL and the NFL Players Association for implementing their policy involving performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone.

Said Butkus: "This week, we begin operating with a new performance-enhancing drug policy that is tough yet fair. I appreciate the hard work by the NFL and NFL Players Association to reach agreement on implementation, especially Adolpho Birch, Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith. I also appreciate the U.S. House Oversight Committee's bipartisan support in keeping the pressure on to reach a solution, especially Reps. Darrell Issa and Elijah Cummings.

"This policy should convince every aspiring athlete of one thing: Playing Clean is the only way to go. Cheaters will be discovered and eliminated from the game. And, those who do Play Clean can rest assured that there is a level playing field at football's highest level. Once again, the secret to athletic excellence is the same as living a long and healthy life -- just train hard, eat well, and play with attitude."

One of sports' most persistent critics of performance-enhancing drugs, Mr. Butkus and his son Matt formed the I Play Clean™ initiative in 2007 to encourage teens in organized sports to rely on training, nutrition and intensity rather than take unhealthy and illegal shortcuts. He has spoken at school rallies, completed hundreds of interviews, testified before Congress, and distributed literature to athletes through 12,000 schools. Mr. Butkus requires every nominee for the prestigious Butkus Award® honoring linebackers at three levels to sign an affidavit that they play clean.

Mr. Butkus encourages teen athletes, teams, coaches and parents to take the I Play Clean pledge, holding themselves accountable and setting an example to others:

  • I love organized sports.
  • I believe steroid and PED use among athletes must end.
  • I believe in healthy lifelong training alternatives: training hard, eating well, and playing with attitude
  • I pledge to Play Clean
  • I will encourage others to Play Clean

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Ron Arp