A legislation meant for curtailing steroid use by student-athletes received final legislative approval by the full Assembly by a vote of 74-2 and is on the verge on being passed after being sent to the Governor.

Under the bill, all public school coaches and non-public interscholastic sports, dance, and cheerleading coaches would be required to incorporate a gender-specific program designed for limiting the use of steroids, alcohol and other drugs and to promote healthy nutrition and exercise into the training regimen of the team. The bill (S-834/A-2454) would codify recommendations from the 2005 Governor’s Task Force on Steroid Use and Prevention to establish measures for deterring the use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing supplements in middle school and high school athletes.

“Coaches as well as student athletes need to fully understand the dangers of steroid use and abuse,” said Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer (D-Essex). “The earlier we can impress this on our student athletes, the better their health – both mental and physical – will be as adults.”

Under the bill, the state Department of Education (DOE) and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) would work jointly for developing and implementing a program of random steroid testing of student athletes who qualify to compete in championship tournaments sanctioned by the NJSIAA.