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By Alex Moen, City High senior
IOWA CITY — Performance enhancing drugs are the whispered suspicions of professional and college sports.
Some superstars use them to break records, make it into the hall of fame or win a final.
Recently, however, there has been a debate over whether high school student athletes should be randomly drug tested. Illinois is about to begin testing its athletes for drug use, but Iowa athletics sanctioning bodies likely will not go down the same road.
The Illinois High School Association began random tests of its athletes for performance-enhancing drugs this fall. Research indicates at least one out of every 13 athletes in Illinois is using drugs to increase his or her athletic performance.
It seems to me that if students didn’t do drugs or take illegal substances, that their grades would greatly improve. As well as increase that person’s general mood about the world.
But Iowa governing bodies, such as the Iowa High School Athletic Association, will not follow suit for now.
This is quite a new and interesting tactic Illinois has adapted into its student-athlete policy. It is hard to tell if the end result will be positive or negative.
I am glad Iowa will not follow Illinois down this path.
More than 4,000 youngsters were surveyed by the Iowa High School Athletic Association four years ago and four percent acknowledged steroid use, compared with only two percent in a similar survey five years before that.
IHSAA official Alan Beste said the Iowa code has strict guidelines that prevent search and seizure. Probable cause is needed and that prevents the association from random tests. Thus, the IHSAA does not get involved in drug tests because state law has stronger language that runs counter to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that allows random testing.
I’m not sure what to make of this topic. I don’t know anyone who does drugs, drinks or takes steroids on a regular basis. But I also can see how it would be a positive addition, helping decrease the number of house parties and driving under the influence violations.
Some City High student-athletes said that it wouldn’t really affect them, mostly because they don’t use drugs. However, some students think it is not a bad idea if it’s done randomly.
If an athlete is doing the wrong thing, remember you are not just letting yourself down. You also disappointing your team, school and community.
I believe no matter what the circumstance is, no one should think doing something like drugs is OK — whether it is to increase your speed in a sport or to make yourself feel better or high.
For more of this story, go to http://thelittlehawk.com/drug-testing/