Sunset Commission To Recommend Abolishing Anabolic Steroid Testing Program

According to a report released by the University Interscholastic League’s Anabolic Steroid Testing Program, no student-athlete at Texas public high schools tested positive for anabolic steroids during the 2013-14 school year.

Only seven of 2,633 tests conducted at 172 schools were flagged by the program as “protocol violations,” caused when a student fails to provide a specimen or has an unexcused absence. These results come just a day ahead before the Legislature’s Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is set to meet for recommending the elimination of the steroid testing program, one of four decisions expected by the panel on issues relating to the University Interscholastic League.

Nearly $10 million has been spent on the Anabolic Steroid Testing Program of the league since it was created in 2008, mandated by the passage of Senate Bill 8 in 2007. The UIL, codified in Texas Education Code 33.091, was required to conduct a random testing of a statistically significant number of high school students in this state who participate in athletic competitions sponsored or sanctioned by the league. The program, which is funded through the Texas Education Agency, has faced cuts in each biennium since 2008, from a high of $3 million per year in 2008 to $500,000 last year.

Total Number of Tests: 2,633
2,405 boys were tested representing 10 sports
228 girls were tested representing 10 sports
172 schools were tested
Breakdown of Tests Conducted by Grade and Gender:
· 9th grade – Females: 54, Males: 539
· 10th grade – Females: 52, Males: 529
· 11th grade – Females: 52, Males: 638
· 12th grade – Females: 70, Males: 699
Breakdown of Tests Conducted by Sport:
· Male Baseball: 551
· Male Basketball: 41
· Male Cross-Country: 7
· Male Football: 1,112
· Male Golf: 4
· Male Soccer: 27
· Male Swimming: 9
· Male Tennis: 15
· Male Track & Field: 11
· Male Wrestling: 7
· Male Multi-sport: 620
· Total Males: 2,405
· Female Basketball: 30
· Female Cross-County: 10
· Female Golf: 5
· Female Soccer: 18
· Female Softball: 24
· Female Swimming: 10
· Female Tennis: 8
· Female Track & Field: 16
· Female Volleyball: 47
· Female Wrestling: 1
· Female Other: 1
· Female Multi-sport: 58
· Total Females: 228
Note: A multisport athlete will be represented more than once in this list. Therefore, the individual sport numbers will differ from the total number of athletes tested.
· Total Number of Positives: 0
· Total Number of Inconclusive Endogenous Records: 10
· Total Number of Protocol Positives: 7

The Anabolic Steroid Testing program has not been able to meet its mandate of performing a “statistically significant” number of tests because of the funding cut, according to an August 2014 Sunset staff report. According to the Sunset report, the cost of expanding both the number of tests administered and the types of drugs screened could cost between $4.1 million to $5.7 million per year. During the program’s entire history, only 197 students (out of 65,525 tests performed) generated a positive test result or committed a protocol violation.

In a press release, the UIL said the University Interscholastic League Anabolic Steroid Testing Report (for the 2013-14 school year) has been released by the UIL. The statistical report of the testing program that took place between September 2013 and May 2014 includes information such as the total number of tests conducted, the number of positive results and the breakdown of student-athletes tested by sport and gender. It was added that there were zero (0) confirmed positive results, 10 inconclusive endogenous records, and seven (7) protocol violations of the 2,633 tests conducted, for an unexcused absence at the time the test was administered. An inconclusive endogenous record denotes an elevated Testosterone amount in the body with an inability to determine if the amount was naturally or unnaturally produced.

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