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Drug Testing in High School Sports, Again

August 9, 2013

FHSAAOn Monday Major League Baseball (MLB) suspended 13 players — including New York Yankee superstar Alex Rodriquez — for their use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) and links to the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami. Now, in the wake of reports from the Miami Herald that current and former high school athletes in Florida also have been linked to the Biogenesis clinic, the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) said it was once again prepared to “take a stand” against the use of PED use by high school students.

From MaxPreps:

“We must draw a line in the sand against performance-enhancing drugs,” FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing said.

Dearing called steroid use among high school kids “the elephant in the room,” and that officials “may have not have been as vigilant as we should have been.”

In 2007 FHSAA created a program to test students for PEDs. It spent $100,000 to test some 600 students but discontinued the program after one year.

High school athletic associations in Texas, Illinois and New Jersey have drug testing programs and, according to a New York Times article, “all three programs were operated by Drug Free Sport. The contracts were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Again, from MaxPreps:

Drug testing has been addressed throughout the country, but largely deemed too expensive in a mass majority of states. There are close to 300,000 student-athletes in Florida and with a comprehensive test costing more than $100 each, the state can’t possibly come up with $30 million.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the state legislature allocated $100,000 for statewide tests 10 years ago. Dearing encouraged corporations to help finance such testing.

“There are enough people involved (in high school sports) to provide funds for it,” Dearing said. “There are resources available. It’s the responsibility of communities to make sure their schools are drug free.”

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