Jan 29, 2015
States Act On Steroids

While much attention has been paid to Congressional hearings on steroid use among professional athletes, state legislatures are also getting into the act. Several states entertained steroid control proposals during the first half of 2005, most of them directed at high school athletes and state athletic associations.

Virginia was one of four states to pass legislation intended to discourage steroid use by high school athletes and enacted the toughest penalty of any state law. Students found to have used steroids will lose their athletic eligibility for two years. In addition, administrative or teaching licenses will be revoked from teachers, coaches, or administrators who sell or distribute steroids or who fail to notify their principal or superintendent about known steroid use among students.

New laws in Texas and Illinois will require schools to educate students about the dangers of steroid abuse, with the Texas law leaving the door open for future testing. Other states considered bills that would have mandated testing athletes, but none of those became law. In New Mexico, Governor Bill Richardson plans to ask lawmakers to enact random testing next year and has pledged $330,000 toward a testing program.

Most states have avoided colleges and universities in their proposed bills largely because of the NCAA drug-testing program. Athletes who fail an NCAA drug test lose one year of eligibility for the first offense and two years for a second offense.

The Dallas Morning News Web site features an ongoing look at steroid use among high school athletes, including a series of stories that revealed use at local high schools and prompted the new legislation. Links to the series and other stories can found at: www.dallasnews.com/sports/highschools.

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