Steroid Testing for High School Athletes?

By: Hermelinda Vargas
By: Hermelinda Vargas

Football coach Don Dowling doesn’t just support random drug testing for steroids.

“If there's a kid that might be thinking about trying 'em or something, now that he knows there's a chance he might get tested, he won't do it."

He also supports testing players for marijuana and other illegal and harmful drugs like meth. Some of his players at Marianna High School say they wouldn’t object to either test. But they especially want routine steroid testing.

"It's probably a good idea 'cause you know it's illegal so get some of those big old dudes that are getting the advantage illegal off the field to give us other people, that are doing it honestly, a better chance out there."

"Of course, other high school coaches and athletes feel differently about the issue. The biggest arguments against random testing is that it's an invasion of privacy and that unfairly targets student-athletes, especially when it comes to testing for drugs other than steroids."

Beyond the issue itself, some school administrators are concerned with another aspect of the potential new law.

"Cost. If it were to become legislation, it would be very,very expensive to administer all across the state and we would hope that the legislature would keep that in mind. And if they do pass this legislation, would help us to come up with the funding."

Washington County Superintendent Jerry Tire says he’s also concerned about the potential for un-even standards if the consequences of testing positive are not uniform across the state.

Say one district makes players ineligible to play and another offers treatment but keeps the player on the team.

Support for the drug-testing bill originally began in 1999.


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