Steroid Testing In Texas High Schools Not Happening Yet - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/13/07-Tyler

Steroid Testing In Texas High Schools Not Happening Yet

Many believe steroid use starts at the high school level. In fact, this summer the Texas legislature thought steroid use among student athletes was such a problem, they signed into law the nation's largest steroid testing program. While it's supposed to discourage student athletes from using the drug, right now, it's not doing anything.

Football season has come and almost gone, but so far, not one student athlete here in East Texas has been tested for steroid use.

"As we speak right now it's not ready to go," says Tyler ISD Athletic Director Danny Long.  

Long says his district is ready to go with testing, but they're waiting on the University Interscholastic League or UIL and so far, they've heard nothing.

"We just wait till we're contacted, notified of when one of our schools has been selected, let us know what to do and we will fall in line and do as asked," he explains.

In June, Governor Perry put the UIL in charge of mandating and funding random steroid testing throughout this school year for about 30 percent of the state's public schools, but as of yet, it hasn't happened.

"We're still in lengthy process of developing the protocol and the program for exactly how this is going to work... it's just taking a little bit longer to make sure that all those things are in place and then when we do actually begin testing we know that we have the right plan in place that's going to be fair and appropriate," says Mark Cousins, Athletic Coordinator for UIL.

With Thursday's release of the Mitchell Report, we've seen that steroid use is an issue for the pro athletes, but TISD says it's not a problem here.

"We have not seen indications of steroid use, just don't feel like it's a problem from the steroid standpoint," Long adds.

Either way, the message is: steroids won't be tolerated at any level.

The UIL says they have no timeline as to when the program will start being implemented. Their goal: to get it hammered out at least by may, the end of this school year.

Tracy Watler, Reporting tracy@kltv.com

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