When Texas legislators dismantled the state steroid testing program for high school athletes in May 2015, New Jersey and Illinois were the only states remaining with testing programs.
Texas had the most far-reaching program, having spent $10 million over eight years before the program was disbanded. The first 30,000 tests found only 11 positives. Few saw those numbers as good news of clean athletes or even as proof the program could be a successful deterrent.
New Jersey released its results this week for the 2015-16 school year. Of 497 samples collected, there were zero positives. The 497 included 343 male athletes and 154 female athletes in 13 sports such as football, wrestling, basketball, girls and boys soccer. The tests are administered during championship competitions.
Illinois has had similarly few positives since the testing program began in the 2008-09 school year. The Illinois program started as a postseason testing program but the protocol changed five years ago to make any athlete in a state-sanctioned sport eligible to be tested.
The IHSA said the athletes are selected randomly.
Paul Anzano, outside legislative counsel for the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association, has said in 10 years of testing, there have only been three positive tests and those were for a banned supplement.
The New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association spends about $100,000 on the program, with half coming from the association and the other from federal grants. A state Assembly committee has sought an additional $45,000 in funding that would allow for testing beyond championships.