Is approving the steroid-tests for fall a hasty decision by a politician's ambition or will it have its benefits to enrich our public schools' sports programs? While I would lean closer to the former, I believe the answer is neither.
Although steroid testing seems to be a great advocate for the anti-drug campaign in the Texas UIL systems, I agree with the editor here when he mentions we may have more important things to fix our focus on.
It would not be reasonable to jeopardize a student's entire sports-career based on a faulty drug-test. The fact that "not many" students actually need the over-the-counter dietary supplements which trigger the false positive is beside the point.
One advocate for administering the test for this fall's football season despite its faults suggested that "most students don't really need the supplements and they're expensive." That, unfortunately is not his decision. If a student can be suspended based on a faulty steroid test, then the test should not be administered until the faults are fixed. The $3 million/year cost of holding off the (minimum) $110 tests until they are up to par should have been considered before signing agreement to the $6 million dollar faulty program.
Again, as the editor mentioned, it seems alcohol and illegal drug abuse are a higher risk, considering their greater consumption, to our students. Why not direct extra effort to the betterment of those tests? Especially if there are very few significant cases of steroid abuse...
Click here to read the editorial "Rush to test for steroids imperils Texas athletes".