Drug Testing for High School Athletes

A bill that would mandate random drug testing at high schools is gaining ground in Florida. If it passes, thousands of student athletes could be tested for steroids.

The bill would put student athletes under the microscope, testing them for illegal high performance drugs. We've seen it at the collegiate level, now the same could hold true for teenagers.

Practice makes perfect. That's what these track stars believe as they spend their spring break training, not playing, but for some athletes, perfection on the track or field is easier if you take a performance-enhancing drug.

“Heard of some cases in Tallahassee, but mainly with the professionals. As far as high school, I haven't heard much,” says track runner Richard Doloy.

One state representative wants to keep it that way as he pushes his bill through the House to mandate drug tests for high school student athletes.

“That's who we're targeting estimates are high for teens taking performance enhancers. We're trying to deter them from using it,” says Rep. Marcelo Llorente, (R) Miami

The athletic director at Leon High says he hasn't seen many cases in his 20 years of coaching. He credits competitive teammates for the absence of drugs.

“I think it's really looked down upon if you use drugs, it's really cheating,” says Mark Feely.

A theory echoed by the Florida High School Athletic Association, which says the use of steroids or performance enhancers are “unsportsmanlike”, and if discovered, the student will be ineligible to compete.

If you ask many Leon Lions, tacking on random drug tests is even better. The bill unanimously passed in a K-12 subcommittee Monday, now it goes to the full education committee and then to the floor.

Rep. Llorente says they haven't worked out a total cost yet, but says he does not want the financial burden to fall on the student, the parents, or the school districts.

If you ask coach, it's a good idea and a great education tool.