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Testing High School Athletes For Steroids

December 14th, 2007 by flanews

Baseballís biggest names are now linked to steroids, but Florida has a program to discourage substance abuse among high school athletes.† Florida is one of only three states to make testing mandatory.† As Chris Casquejo tells us, coaches believe the program is working.

Hear it here: Testing High School Athletes For Steroids

High school steroid use nationwide is estimated at 3 to 6 percent.† In the fall, Florida started a pilot program to test one percent of athletes who play football, baseball, flag football, softball and weight lifting.† Reginald Davis is a high school athletic director who believes steroids are a non-issue.

ďWe are not going to tolerate steroid use,” said Davis.† “But I donít know that the testing had a real impact on that number because I donít know that we had a real problem here.Ē

The state athletic association canít comment on any test results, positive or negative.† But the lawmaker who pushed for the program says itís going very well.

The head baseball coach at Tallahassee Community College believes high schoolers need to stay clear of steroids.

ďWhen Johnny puts on 35 pounds in two months and itís all muscle, Dad and Mom are going to know heís doing something wrong,Ē said TCC baseball coach Mike McLeod.

Heís lukewarm about the effectiveness of testing high school athletes.

ďI donít know that all the testing, the one percent testing, is going to help,” McLeod said.† “But itís just going to heighten awareness.Ē

Because Floridaís program is so new, hard numbers arenít available.† Students who test positive are suspended from all sports for 90 days.† They can appeal two months into their suspension.

The state athletic association will submit a report about the steroid-testing program to Florida lawmakers in the spring.

Posted in Children, Education, State News | 1 Comment »

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