Saturday, June 17, 2006

New Jersey To Test HS Athletes For Steriods

By Chris Price

New Jersey becomes the first state in the country to begin statewide testing high school athletes for performance enhancing drugs.

On the National School Boards Association website, the specifics of the programs were detailed. They are listed below.

Sluggers on steriods? Joggers on juice? Placekickers on performance enhancers? While this might sound like a likely roster of Congressional testifiers on the topic of steroids, it's actually the latest group to come under scrutiny in high schools. On Wednesday, New Jersey became the first state to introduce a statewide steroid-testing policy for high school athletes.

An article in USA Today reports that according to the "Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6% of U.S. high school students, or about 300,000, took steroids in 2003 without a doctor's prescription." In accordance with New Jersey's plan, student athletes testing positive for steroids will be punished with a one-year loss of eligibility.

The state expects to test about 500 athletes, with the state and New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association putting $50,000 toward the cost of the tests. Sixty percent of the tests will be performed on those participating in football, wrestling, track and field, swimming, lacrosse, and baseball, because NCAA data indicates that athletes in those sports are the most susceptible to steroid abuse.

California is also considering testing for athletes, but cites funding as an obstacle. Hawaii cites cost as a "red flag" in addition to the "legal ramifications" of testing.

How widespread steroid usage is in New Jersey is unknown. Obviously it must be a problem, so they won’t take this action.

Be ready to see a frequent lawsuits if tests start coming back positive. After all, Barry Bonds lawyered up when his problems started, so while shouldn’t future little Barrys.

I would love to see that happen her in Texas, but the cost would be so prohibitive that iy would be like stopping steroid use in Major League Baseball.

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