Local School Welcomes Possible Steroid Testing Program - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/26/06

Local School Welcomes Possible Steroid Testing Program

The Troup Tigers football team is a hard working group of guys who just beat last years' AAA Division 2 State Champions.

Right guard Josh Tollett says, "I have a passion for this game, and I know it's the same for all these other guys out here."

At the beginning of the year, the football players and all Troup students in extra-curricular activities take a drug test. It checks for things like marijuana and cocaine. Now, they could face an additional test for steroids.

Head Football Coach John Eastman says, "We like the idea, because it keeps everybody on an even playing field."

The lietenant governor says the tests could be done for about $100 a student. He hopes at least 20 thousand students would be tested, bringing the price tag to 2 million dollars. He says the state would foot the entire bill.

Eastman says the testing would act as a deterrant for his players.

"I feel like when the kids know they're going to be tested, it gives them an 'out.' If they get put in a bad situation, if nothing else, it gives them an excuse to say no" says Eastman.

Tight end Jaron Hasley says there is a temptation to turn to steroids because of the influence of the professional athletes.

Hasley says, "An athlete always compares himself to somebody else.  If he's bigger, and he plays the same position as you, then how'd he get that big?"

Players we spoke to say they only want to be as good as they can be, naturally, and they're willing to take a test to prove every victory is one they've earned through hard work; not cheating.

If Lietuenant Governor Dewhurst is reelected, he says he would ask lawmakers to approve the program early next year.

If approved, it would be the biggest high school steroids testing program in the nation.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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