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Illinois opts not to fund PED testing program for HS athletes

The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) will not fund its PED testing program during the upcoming school year, instead focusing its efforts on education and awareness.

The IHSA’s board of directors made the decision during its final meeting of the 2016-17 school year, according to The State Journal-Register. Executive Director Craig Anderson told the newspaper that the program was created as a deterrent, and he believes it achieved its goals keeping young athletes away from PEDs.

“The program was enacted as a deterrent for performance-enhancing drug use, and we felt like it was a success in that regard, while also resulting in three positive tests through five years of testing,” Anderson told the paper. “We are confident that the national attention on this subject in recent years has helped to better educate and increase awareness for student-athletes, coaches and parents.”

Some states that put high school PED testing programs in place have already shut them down. Associations and state governments paid to have students tested and, in most cases, turned up only a handful of violations. 

In 2013, we published an editorial calling PED tests at the high school level a solution without a problem. In 2015, Texas discontinued its testing program.

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