Schwarzenegger signs bill banning supplement use by young athletes

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill barring high school athletes from using certain nutritional supplements, a year after he vetoed similar legislation.

The action came after the governor was criticized for having a multimillion-dollar contract with muscle magazines that rely on advertising from supplement companies. Critics said the arrangement posed a conflict of interest.

The law signed Friday prohibits high school athletes from taking three nutritional supplements: synephrine, ephedra and DHEA. It also requires students to sign a pledge not to use the supplements, and bars supplement manufacturers from sponsoring school events.

The Republican governor vetoed similar legislation last year, but Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Margita Thompson said this year's version corrected flaws in the old bill. She said the banned substances were not clearly defined in the earlier version.

A federal securities filing in July disclosed that Schwarzenegger would earn at least $1 million (Ђ820,000) a year for five years serving as a consultant to American Media Inc., a publisher of fitness magazines. Much of the advertising in the magazines comes from nutritional supplement companies.

Schwarzenegger gave up the contract but continues to write an advice column.

The issue prompted a complaint this summer to the state's political watchdog agency, the Fair Political Practices Commission. Agency officials declined to comment Friday on the status of their investigation.

Also Friday, Schwarzenegger issued his second veto of legislation that would have allowed illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, saying that signing the measure could undermine national security efforts.

Administration officials had said earlier that California should wait until federal officials complete work on regulations spelling out requirements for such licenses nationwide.

Then-Gov. Gray Davis signed a bill granting driver's licenses for illegal immigrants in 2003, angering many voters and helping drive the recall effort against him. Schwarzenegger persuaded the Legislature to overturn the law later that year, shortly after voters removed Davis and elected him.

Other bills the governor signed Friday ban the sale or rental of extremely violent video games to minors; require cigarettes sold in California to meet fire-safety standards designed to make them go out when not being puffed; and allow local governments to require certain dog breeds to be neutered to protect the public, AP reported.

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