Dec 14, 2017NJ Reports Results
This year, one out of 502 New Jersey high school student-athletes of both genders tested positive for steroids or banned substances. According to NJ.com, those tested were from 69 high schools, six boys’ sports and seven girls’ sports, and only teams that had qualified for state tournaments. Last year, there were no positive results from 500 samples.
Steve Timko, Executive Director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, said this year’s results were “terrific,” but he hoped the testing would be extended to athletes who did not qualify for championship.
“Ideally, rather than limiting our testing to the tournaments, we’d have random testing year-round,” Timko said in a press release. “This would give us a broader perspective of what’s going on, since not all athletes and not all programs qualify for championship play. But, without additional financial support, that isn’t possible.”
Current steroid testing, which New Jersey has performed since 2016, cost $100,000 per year, with the NJSIAA paying half and federal grants funding the rest. The NJSIIA, along with Senator Richard Codey (D-Essex), have asked to expand the tests, seeking $45,000 to extend testing beyond those who qualify for the playoffs.
“The more students we’re able to test, the more information we’ll have about the scope of drug problem, and the better positioned we’ll be to halt it,” Timko said in a press release. “We really need the means of testing more broadly to better assess the level of substance abuse. In particular, we’re looking to test for opioids, given the current epidemic.”