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Testing High School Athletes For Steroids

December 14th, 2007 by flanews

Baseball’s 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.

“We are not going to tolerate steroid use,” said Davis.  “But I don’t know that the testing had a real impact on that number because I don’t know that we had a real problem here.”

The state athletic association can’t comment on any test results, positive or negative.  But the lawmaker who pushed for the program says it’s going very well.

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

“When Johnny puts on 35 pounds in two months and it’s all muscle, Dad and Mom are going to know he’s doing something wrong,” said TCC baseball coach Mike McLeod.

He’s lukewarm about the effectiveness of testing high school athletes.

“I don’t know that all the testing, the one percent testing, is going to help,” McLeod said.  “But it’s just going to heighten awareness.”

Because Florida’s program is so new, hard numbers aren’t 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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