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Thursday 14, May 2009

  Steroid Testing In Texas Will Be Scaled-Down

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Steroid Testing In Texas Will Be Scaled-DownThe past weeks, lawmakers have scrutinized the steroid testing program which has been implemented in Austin, Texas. Because of the huge amount of money used for testing of high school students, both the House and the Senate has proposed to scale-down the program.

The testing program in Texas was initiated two years ago in order to screen high school athletes that administer steroids.

In the steroid testing conducted for school year 2008-2009, only 11 were found positive on steroids against the 29,000 students who were randomly tested.

The final budget for the steroid testing program is still under negotiation. Although, in the next two years, testing program for steroids will possibly focus only on athletes in football, weightlifting, track and field, wrestling and baseball to lessen the cost.

Sunday 01, Feb 2009

  COUPLE TO BE SENTENCED FOR ILLEGAL DISTRIBUTION OF STEROIDS

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operation_raw_deal-steroidsOperation Raw Deal started several years back and has been a cooperative effort of various countries include the United States, Australia, China, Canada and Thailand. The operation is headed by the Drug Enforcement Administration and aims to identify, arrest, and righteously sentence individuals who import, manufacture and distribute performance enhancing drugs illegally. The DEA also wants to identify certain individuals, such as those involved in sports, who use these drugs. Among those examined are anabolic steroids, human growth hormone and human chorionic gonadotropin. The undercover operation has revealed that most of the suppliers of raw materials come from China.

A couple in Pearland, Texas were among the first to be arrested as a result of Operation Raw Deal. Kenneth Hebert and Leticia Zamora were found to be operating a major pill mill wherein they manufacture steroids themselves then sell them through the internet. Over a million illegal steroids have been distributed by the couple. The two pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentence. Hebert and Zamora are among the hundreds of people arrested because of the undercover operation.

Wednesday 21, Jan 2009

  TEXAS LOCAL SUPPORTS STEROID TESTING PROGRAM

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gov-rick-perry-steroidsJust last week, Gov. Rick Perry agreed that the $6 million drug testing program for local high school athletes is a bit too pricey and could be rolled back. The first batch of results is from 10,000 students participating in spring activities and only four yielded positive results. While the 2nd batch of results isn’t in, Perry stated that anabolic steroids aren’t a major problem among Texas teens since the tests only had very low positive results. This comment caused a mixed reaction among the people.

Don Hooton thinks that the low positive count is the result of the steroid testing program. Without the program, students will be less aware of the consequences of using performance enhancing drugs. Hooton wants for the state to wait for the second batch of results before jumping into any conclusions. He also wants to have enough time for his experts under the Taylor Hooton Foundation to analyze the results and review the protocol. He is disappointed that Perry and some critics support the stand that the program has to be removed.

The governor’s office said that there is no official decision on the program yet. Perry also said that he had no issues with the program per se, just the high budget that went along with it.

Thursday 15, Jan 2009

  TEXAS: TORN BETWEEN MONEY AND STEROID TESTING

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gov-steroidsTexas is now faced with a difficult decision: keeping a steroid testing program that adds $4,709 of extra costs to high schools every 2 years or letting go of the program that could possibly train their youth to become clean, disciplined athletes in the future.

It all started way back in 2005 when concerns that steroid use has spread until the high school level were at its peak. Lt Gov. David Dewhurst doubled his efforts in pushing for an anabolic steroids testing program in order to serve as a deterrent to steroid use. This gave birth to a 6 million dollar program that was expected to test about 40,000 to 50,000 high school athletes– boy or girl, whatever sports they may be in.

The results of the first 10,000 tests were astounding. Only four students tested positive for steroids, making you wonder what happened to the “steroid outbreak” in Texas high schools. Other tests results were rather doubtful.

Is the program still necessary then? According to Rep. Dan Flynn, the Texas program should keep going although something might be done with the rather large budget for it. It will be sized down to produce “statistically significant” results and hopefully remain as an effective deterrent for steroid use.

Saturday 19, Jul 2008

  Only 2 students test positive for anabolic steroids

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Among 10,000 Texas high schoolers tested this spring, only two student-athletes tested positive for steroids, officials said.

That’s right, out of 10,000 students, only 2 students tested positive for anabolic steroids, and one of the students was barely over his natural testosterone levels during the test.  Thus, there isn’t even conclusive proof the 2nd student even used anabolic steroids.  Let’s do the math,  that’s 0.02 of 1%, that’s about 2/100th of 1% of students were using anabolic steroids.  On the national scale, steroid use is so small it’s hard to measure about 0.0003%!  Let’s look at the OTHER drug use by the SAME high school students, taken from the official US government website: Bureau of Justice Statistics Drugs and Crime Facts (ojp.usdoj.gov).

Reported drug and alcohol use by high school seniors, 2006
Alcohol – 66.5%
Marijuana  –   31.5%
Other opiates  –   9.0 %
Stimulants  –   8.1 % (like methamphetamine/speed)
Sedatives  –   6.6%
Tranquilizers  –   6.6 %
Cocaine  –   5.7 %
Hallucinogens  –   4.9 %
Inhalants  –   4.5 %

Now, take a look at the above numbers and tell us if you think steroid tests are what the government should be spending taxpayer dollars on?  or is REAL drug testing the answer!

Let’s be realistic, steroid use by teenagers is WRONG, period, but trying to kill a fly with a bulldozer is not going to solve anything.  Texas high schools are wasting $6,000,000 (6million USD) just for testing of steroids over the next 24 months!  With ancillary and administrative cost, the texas school board estimates steroid tests will cost upwards of $25,000,000 (25million USD) over the next 5 years.  That’s a huge waste of taxpayer dollars for something that isn’t going to be solved by a test.

Wednesday 04, Jun 2008

  Steroid testing in Texas implemented

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texas_steroidsWith the recent steroid use scandals involving popular athletes, several states are now adopting programs to test for steroids in high school athletics. Texas is one of these states.

Mandated by Senate Bill 8, passed by the 80th Texas Legislature, the statewide random testing program covers student-athletes in grades 9 to 12. Those who belong to this group will undergo random steroid testing irregardless of sex, sport or participation level. This is being implemented by the University Interscholastic League (UIL).

The Conroe High School student-athletes have undergone the first-ever implementation of this program. The ninety (90) athletes who have been tested yielded negative results for anabolic steroids.

The National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc. (also known as Drug Free Sport) has been selected through a bidding process to conduct the UIL Anabolic Steroid Testing Program for the school years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009.

A statement at the website explains on how the program is to be carried out: “The UIL has been directed to test a statistically significant number of student-athletes in grades 9-12 at approximately 30% of UIL member high schools. The selection process of schools and student-athletes will be random, and approximately 40,000-50,000 student athletes will be tested for anabolic steroids between this spring and the end of the 2008-09 school years.”

State authorities believe that this mandate is the best way to keep high school student-athletes away from the temptation of using anabolic steroids. There have been criticisms, however, against UIL testing for anabolic steroids and not for other recreational drugs. An opinion at The Courier of Montgomery County has this to say: “Given the growing problems with steroid abuse, we applaud the application of the UIL testing program at the high school level; we hope the success of the program will lead schools who currently restrict testing to steroids in student athletes to broaden the testing to include recreational drug use among students in other extracurricular activities as well.”