The problem of high school students struggling with steroid use is becoming one of national interest. Several states have already instituted steroid testing programs including Texas and New Jersey while Florida was expected to throw its hat into the ring July 1.
In Florida, the new law will subject football, baseball and weightlifting to random testing under a one-year pilot program.
Supervising the testing will be the Florida High School Athletics Association which includes 426 public schools and 224 private schools.
Through this type of testing, the association is hopeful in limiting the number of high school students struggling with steroid use. They are also hopeful of preventing serious health problems and drug abuse later on in life.
The three sports selected for testing, baseball, football and weightlifting, were chosen because they are the sports where muscle mass enhances performances.
Not worth the chance
For those caught using steroids, the consequences are tough. Any athlete who refuses a urine sample would be ineligible to remain on the team. He’s gone. Those who test positive would be suspended from the team but could be reinstated if they pass a follow-up test.
The tests will be randomly administered to one percent of high school athletes who compete in the three sports already mentioned during the 2007-08 season.
Over in the Lone Star State, a much stronger bill was passed which calls for the testing of more athletes. The budget planners set aside $3 million per year and the program requires a “statistically significant sample” of students.
Why would any young athlete want to jeopardize his entire career by using steroids?
Let’s keep the table flat and make it level for all athletes.
We wrote a column a short time back when New Jersey became the first state in the country to launch a state-wide testing policy for high school athletes last year.
New Jersey was proud to inform that its initial testing for performance-enhancing drugs among 150 random samples taken last fall failed to produce a positive result.
In its first big expansion move since 1951, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference threw open its doors and welcomed three new schools: Gannon, Mercyhurst and C.W. Post.
Gannon and Mercyhurst were invited as full-time members while C.W. Post will be an associate member.
The three schools will redefine the makeup of what has been an affiliation of 14 state-owned Pennsylvania Colleges. The three new schools will be the first private institutions to join the PSAC.
What prevails now is, you have private schools with state schools. Nothing wrong with that in my book, The only other drawback is not too hard to take either. C.W. Post is situated in Brookville, N.Y. and becomes the first non-Pennsylvania school to enter the conference.
Present members of the PSAC are: Edinboro, Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.