A wave of Major League Baseball suspensions in the aftermath of the performance-enhancing drug scandal involving high profile athletes and the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Miami is starting to crash down on high school athletes as well.
The Miami Herald found two current high school athletes and five collegiate athletes from South Florida high schools were clients of the Biogenesis clinic.
That finding prompted the Florida High School Activities Association to ramp up its rhetoric on drug testing for high school athletes.
“We must draw a line in the sand against performance-enhancing drugs,” FHSAA Executive Director Roger Dearing said on a conference call with reporters.
Texas, New York, New Jersey and Illinois all mandate testing for athletes through a company called Drug Free Sport.
The Colorado High School Activities Association has not received any requests for a statewide testing system, CHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bert Borgmann said during a phone interview Monday.
In a June 29, 1998, in a Trinidad School District v. Lopez ruling, an appeals court struck down mandatory drug testing by the Trinidad School District. The highly focused court decision was specific to the high school’s band program. And the wording in the decision left wiggle room for drug testing programs that were targeted rather than all-encompassing.
Cheyenne Mountain, in Colorado Springs, and Ignacio High School participate in drug testing programs for their athletes, Borgmann said.
Poudre School District does not mandate any drug testing for athletes or other high school students.
District Communications Director Danielle Clark said via text message the district has never done drug testing of athletes, nor has the district had any discussions of implementing those types of policies in the near future.
Fossil Ridge High School baseball coach Mark Findley said he and other coaches talked about testing in the late 1990s.
“We had reason to suspect certain inappropriate behaviors, but nothing concrete,” Findley said.
Although Findley said he thinks the use of performance-enhancing drugs among high school athletes is probably more prevalent in states like Florida, California and Texas, he said he’d be naive to think it doesn’t exist in Colorado.
As far as mandatory testing goes, Findley said he’s not into punitive measures.
“I think the biggest thing now is just educating people on what’s out there,” Findley said. “As much as kids sign training rules, they should get to hear the dangers (of these drugs).”
In Flordia, FHSAA doesn’t have the authority to mandate PED testing for all of its member schools. Districts could opt out because of cost concerns, and the legality of such testing is up in the air.
Tyler Silvy covers high school sports for The Coloradoan. Reach him via email at TylerSilvy@coloradoan.com or by phone at (970) 589-3829. Connect with him at Facebook.com/Tyler Silvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.