Doctors from Johns Hopkins University unveiled plans for an unprecedented $1-million, four-year study into the risks faced by amateur boxers.
Dr. Walter Stewart of Johns Hopkins' School of Public Health and the study's chief investigator, said the study will involve about 300 amateur boxers age 15 to 18 to determine whether excessive risks are associated with amateur boxing.
The study is being conducted amid national pressure for boxing reform. The American Medical Assn., citing its own study saying that many boxers suffer brain damage as a result of cumulative blows to the head, is demanding a ban on the sport. Legislation approved by the House of Representatives this month established a quasi-public commission to regulate boxing.
During the next 12 months, amateur boxers from the District of Columbia, Houston and two other undetermined cities will be given a series of medical tests focusing on the impact that boxing has on the brain. They will be retested again in two years. The same testing procedures will also be followed with 200 college football players as a control group.
The boxing study is funded by the U.S. Olympic Foundation and is endorsed by the USA Amateur Boxing Federation.