Six Texas football players suspended due to alleged performance-enhancing drug use had their bans overturned by the state’s University Interscholastic League governing body after the players appealed their suspension.
The reason for UIL’s decision to overturn the ban? A lack of conclusive evidence of the PED use, according to reporting from USA TODAY High School Sports partner TexasHSFootball.com. While there is data to support that ruling — none of the six players who admitted injecting themselves with testosterone tested positive for the drug — there is also reason to question whether that data is valid because the tests were administered 33 days after the students admitted taking the drug.
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According to reporting from Texas TEGNA partner and NBC affiliate KCEN, the six players — including Jake Truss, Derek Bear, Zach Muller — were suspended by Gatesville for the entirety of preseason two-a-day practices, as well as the team’s first preseason scrimmage. That ban spanned 28 days, while the standard ban for a first-time PED offense under UIL regulations is 30 school days, a total that would extend for six weeks.
Faced with a choice between suspending the six players for those 30 days or giving them a simple reprimand, Gatesville’s home District 13-4A Executive Committee voted 3-2 to suspend the players, only to see the players’ immediate appeal be upheld by UIL.
That’s good news for Gatesville, which was 7-0 before being mowed under by China Springs, 43-16, on Friday. With the suspensions on hold, and possibly vacated in the future, Gatesville will have its full complement of stars as it prepares for the postseason.
What it means for punishment for PED users is another thing entirely, particularly considering the fact that all six players admitted to using testosterone.
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