In an article penned for The Detroit News, Jack Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA, opposes drug testing for scholastic athletes.
Can anyone see logic in Robert's statement? He argues that singling out high school athletes for testing because that gives them special attention. I suppose to reduce anabolic use in high school athletes we should test the band or maybe glee club.
Of course high school athletes deserve special attention. They are participating in an extracurricular activity, that gives them special notoriety on the sports page, and in the news. If he hasn't noticed it, the director should take a look at ESPN, where high school games are routinely featured in programming. Whenever the stakes are high, cheating will occur. Does this fellow think illogically or just bury his head in the sand?
This thinking not only is backward, but dangerous. He suggests using eduction to stop PED use in high schools. That approach, while worthwhile, might prevent a marginal steroid wannabe from using. Education is likely not going to stop a hardcore steroid user even at the high school level. Surveillance and enforcement of rules, unfortunately, would be far more effective.
It is dangerous for administrators like Roberts to firmly plant their head in the sand. Steroid cheaters gain an unfair advantage. Further, steroid users become stronger, and generate more power in a game. Might they injure another player, especially in high school, where often the difference between the most powerful players and the less mature, weaker players is startling? And lastly the director is opening up himself to lawsuits form both injured players, and from athletes who will suffer grave consequences of steroid use later in life. Former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent has suggests as much.
The Nation cannot emphasize more how misguided this approach is. The director even calls the educational programs 'enforcement'. Michigan can do much better than this.
Jack Roberts , executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association, said in a statement Monday that he is firmly opposed to drug testing of any kind in state high schools.
Roberts' statement is in response to a column written (Nov. 2006) by USA Today contributing columnist Robert Lipsyte who sided with the notion of drug testing high school athletes.
"Singling out high school athletes for drug testing only adds to this misguided notion that who they are and what they do somehow deserve special attention," Roberts said in his statement.
Roberts said a more cost efficient and effective way of policing performance-enhancing drug use by high school students is through programs like ATLAS and ATHENA, which have proven to reduce use of performance enhancing drugs and other risky behaviors.