Texas considers ending steroid testing program

February 3, 2015 /
Texas will soon consider ending its steroid testing program for high school student-athletes.

SteroidThe state began its random testing procedures in 2008, and since then the state has spent approximately $9.3 million on the program, according to KHOU in Houston. Thousands of athletes were tested, but rarely did more than a handful of athletes ever fail.

From KHOU.com:

Rep. Charles “Doc” Anderson, R-District 56, said there’s a greater than 90 percent chance this one will pass. 

But it wouldn’t gut the program entirely: Schools would still need to educate students about the use of steroids.

“That has been shown that it actually does help,” said Dr. Corbett Boone, a physician at Southwest Sports Medicine in Waco. “So I think more knowledge is better.”

“The last thing you want to do,” he added, “is to tell these guys, ‘Hey, there’s something out there that can help you get bigger, stronger, faster,’ and they know nothing about the dangers of it.”

“The general theme is that a lot more of these youngsters realize that the trade-off is not beneficial, that there’s a lot of downsides to using anabolic steroids, and so the general culture has changed,” Anderson said.

This is exactly what we said should have happened all along. It’s just unfortunate that the state had to spend close to $10 million to figure it out.

It was clear early on that high schools didn’t have a steroid problem, so this was only a matter of time. Education and outreach makes more sense, it’ll save millions and it serves to address any potential issue at its core.

In 2013, the New York Times published an insightful piece about high school steroid testing, illustrating just how wasteful these programs can be. Testing in Illinois, New Jersey and Florida also proved fruitless, so it makes no sense to spend money attacking a problem that doesn’t exist.

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