Steroid use has been one of the biggest topics in recent years when it comes to sports talk. Athletes from all over the sports world have been accused of using or have been proven to have used anabolic steroids at one time or another. Careers of some of the biggest names in sports have not only been tarnished by these allegations, some have been completely destroyed.
However there is a new level of athlete being targeted when it comes to the fight against steroid use in sports. The difference is, these athletes are not professionals; they are not even on the collegiate level, in fact they are only high school students participating in their schools athletic programs.
This comes after a clinic that reportedly provided performance enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players was learned by the Florida High School Athletic Association to have allegedly also given the same drugs to students.
Roger Dearing, the FHSAA executive director, said, “school districts simply cannot tolerate coaches who encourage or look the other way when they know student-athletes are using performance-enhancing drugs. Therefore, these coaches should not be allowed by their school district policies to influence and coach these students in the future,” during a conference call.
According to the Miami Herald, the agency is putting a 16 person committee together to come up with an idea for a new testing policy.
This is where the controversy weighs in. Drug tests will cost $150 each; there are around 283,000 student athletes in Florida high schools, therefore it would cost an estimated $42 million each year for schools if the drug tests are required. This proposal coming only months after Florida having announced mass layoffs of thousands of teachers and other school employees across the state.
This has a large number of parents wondering what is more important to officials in their children’s schools; education or sports?
One parent, who is also a teacher, spoke with Ocala Post wished to remain anonymous and had this to say:
“I’m all for making sure our children don’t get involved with taking performance-enhancing drugs, but at a high school level it should be totally up to the parents of the students to say whether or not their kid gets tested for steroids. I would much rather see the board of education use the $42 million towards getting good teachers back in the classrooms. I think that sports are an important factor in school, especially with the high rate of obesity in children today. I just think that putting budget cuts in place that cause thousands of teachers to lose their jobs and then proposing a multimillion dollar drug testing plan to makes sure student athletes aren’t using performance-enhancing drugs, sends the wrong message to students who don’t play any sports. To me it says we don’t care about your education, pick up a ball and that’s not right.”
It is still unclear when and if the proposed $42 million drug testing plan will be approved.