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Monday 04, May 2015

  Texas Lawmakers To End High School Steroid Testing Program

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Texas Lawmakers To End High School Steroid Testing Program

The Texas state legislature will soon on whether random drug testing of high school athletes should find a place in the state budget. Recent reports suggest that the $3 million annual outlay that was approved by legislators eight years ago is all set to end.

The Texas legislature approved funding for the program in 2007 after reports across North Texas of anabolic steroid use among high school athletes, most notably in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs of Colleyville and Plano. Random testing began during the second semester of the 2007-08 school year with 0.26 percent testing positive. Following similar results, funding was cut a year later to $1 million and then to the current $650,000 in 2011-12.

The bill was recommended by the staff of the legislature’s Sunset Advisory Commission that is charged with elimination of unnecessary spending in state government. Results of the testing during its 5½ years cast doubt on whether it’s worth even the current annual expenditure of $650,000, said Commission director Ken Levine. According to the commission staff’s report, less than one-third of 1 percent of subjects testing positive (190 out of 62,892) at a cost of $9.3 million and funding has steadily declined from an annual $3 million to about $650,000 this year.

School Year  Budget  Tests

% Schools

% Students

Pos

% Pos

Spring 2008 $3M 10,117

1.3

15

26

0.26

2008-09 $3M 35,077

4.5

46

125

0.36

2009-10 $1M 6,441

0.83

30

9

0.14

2010-11 $1M 4,595

0.59

21

8

0.17

2011-12 $650,000 3,311

0.42

15

11

0.33

2012-13 $650,000 3,351

0.41

14

11

0.34

TOTAL $9.3M 62,892

1.34*

23.5*

190

0.27*

Source: Sunset Advisory Committee staff report, August 2014
* – Avg

Ken Levine remarked recommendation of the commission staff is split between determining the problem is not as serious as previously thought and assuming that the test as administered cannot provide a reliable snapshot of the situation. Levine added it may not be a good investment of funds at this time and also remarked that we said in the report that the world of steroid use and other performance enhancing drugs has changed a lot since they originally implemented this.

New Jersey was the first state to administer statewide tests for performance enhancing drugs to high school athletes in 2005-06. Soon, Texas and Illinois joined. Florida tested in 2008-09 and brought an end to its program after only one academic year, finding one positive among approximately 600 tests.

Steroid testing proponents agree the Texas steroid testing program would not deliver many positives and cited inadequacies in procedure and scope of the program. Don Hooton, whose Taylor Hooton Foundation has been offering anti-steroid education to young athletes for 12 years, said it was never about measuring the amount of performance enhancing drug usage by the kids and added it was all about providing deterrents. Don Hooton added he believes Texas should reallocate the testing money for anti-steroid education and commented that we are dealing with a political climate that doesn’t believe this is a problem with the kids.

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Wednesday 20, Jun 2012

  Gary Shaw says steroid use rampant in boxing

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Promoter Gary Shaw recently communicated his thoughts on a number of issues, including on the use of performance enhancing drugs in boxing.

Shaw recommended that all world title fights should be tested and said when asked about Manny Pacquiao, “I don’t know about Manny, but how do these guys bring their power from 108 and be faster and stronger…I’m not a doctor. I just know I can look at someone’s physique from one or three fights before and be suspicious…But I can’t challenge Manny because he’s been spectacular. Why would I accuse him of roids when I don’t know? There are some guys who are just freaks and maybe Manny is one of those guys.”

It was also recommended by Shaw that steroid testing should be brought into the place and sanctioning bodies should get behind their acts on such testing.

Sunday 05, Feb 2012

  Bill to discourage steroid use heads to desk of Governor

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Recently, the legislation intended to help curtail steroid use by student-athletes received final legislative approval by the full Assembly by a vote of 74-2 and will now go to the desk of the Governor.

The bill would require all public school coaches and non-public interscholastic sports, dance, and cheerleading coaches to incorporate a gender-specific program designed to reduce the use of steroids, alcohol and other drugs and to promote healthy nutrition and exercise into the team’s training regimen.

“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.”

Wednesday 16, Nov 2011

  Steroids rampant in boxing

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Promoter Gary Shaw recently spoke on a number of issues, including his thoughts on performance enhancing drugs in boxing.

Shaw also recommended that all world title fights should be tested.

Shaw also recommended that steroid testing should be brought into the place and sanctioning bodies should get behind such testing.

Friday 23, Sep 2011

  County prosecutor welcomes steroid testing protocols

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Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli has welcomed the reforms announced recently by Attorney General Paula Dow to combat steroid use in law enforcement.

The County prosecutor said these reforms would allow greater flexibility in confronting what has been a complex problem to law enforcement executives throughout the county.

Dow’s call for reform was the result of a six-month investigation into allegations that a doctor (now deceased) may have illegally prescribed anabolic steroids, human growth hormones (HGH), and other muscle building drugs to 248 public safety officials, mostly policemen and firefighters.

Monday 12, Sep 2011

  Random testing pushed by N.J. attorney general

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Random testing pushed by N.J. attorney generalAfter Attorney General Paula Dow pushed a spate of reforms designed to combat steroid abuse in law enforcement, the president of the state police chief’s association said he believes that most departments in New Jersey will add the substances to the list of drugs for which officers are randomly tested.

William Nally, the police chief in Lacey Township and president of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police, was one of several law enforcement officials to predict random steroid testing getting more common after office of the Attorney General completes revisions to its drug-testing guidelines.

Dow said during a press conference in Hamilton that the newspaper’s three-part series “highlighted the damage that can be done when a doctor’s actions go unchecked and individuals become aware of the opportunity to obtain medications they may not be entitled to.”

Monday 11, Oct 2010

  Steroid testing for high school players is back

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Steroid testing for high school players is backThe New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced on Wednesday that steroid testing for New Jersey high school athletes will return for 2010-11.

Bob Baly, NJSIAA assistant director, said 490 athletes were tested in 2009-10 and all of them tested negative for performance enhancing drugs.

Baly said that the fact that athletes are aware that any of them can be tested is certainly a deterrent for making use of performance enhancing drugs.

Tuesday 02, Feb 2010

  Home run production in baseball stimulated by steroids

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Home run production in baseball stimulated by steroidsThe use of steroids by a Major League Baseball slugger can produce only modest improvements in muscle mass and bat-and-ball speed but has the ability to boost home run production by as much as 50 percent.

This finding was revealed by a study by Tufts University physicist Roger Tobin, a specialist in condensed matter physics with a long-time interest in the physics of baseball.

Tobin remarked that the home run explosion coincides with the dawn of the “steroid era” in sports in the mid-1990s and dropped significantly when Major League Baseball instituted steroid testing.

Monday 11, Jan 2010

  Steroid testing under dark clouds

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Steroid testing under dark cloudsThings are pretty much under dark clouds as far as the growing popularity of steroids is concerned as more and more people are making use of prescription drugs, steroids, and performance enhancing drugs than ever. These trends are especially alarming in the segments of bodybuilding, professional sports, and aging community.

It seems like almost every one was on steroids till steroid testing measures were introduced by the anti-doping fraternity. This can be easily evident from the fact that more and more individuals are using steroids despite tall claims from the anti-doping officials.

The fact that steroids help individuals to realize their long-cherished dreams without much effort and on a consistent basis is something that has long been alluring one and all towards steroids.

Saturday 09, Jan 2010

  Baseball owners and players set tougher doping policies

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In an announcement made at a meeting of baseball owners in Scottsdale, Arizona, an agreement was entered into by Major League baseball players and union officials for implementing tougher doping policies.

Baseball owners and players set tougher doping policiesBaseball and union officials have expanded the list of banned substances though amphetamines will be something that players would not be tested for.

 Rob Manfred, an executive vice president for baseball, was of the view that this policy is as good as any policy in any professional sport.

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