High School Athletes To Face Drug Testing

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jan 15, 2008 1:33PM

2005_01_sports_steroids_citycouncil.jpgWhen Chicagoist was in high school, we knew that "Drug Free and Proud" banner hanging above the main entrance was a joke when we could smell the weed classmates had smoked at lunch.

Nowadays, it's not just the recreational drugs that have school officials concerned. In recent years, performance enhancing drugs have increasingly become a problem. Combine the countless number of high profile athletes from Major League Baseball, to Olympic track & field, to the Tour de France setting bad examples along with the desire to excel on the field or court and there's a recipe for abuse.

To combat a rising problem, Illinois has become the latest state to mandate random drug testing for high school athletes. On Monday, The Illinois High School Association's Board of Directors voted 10-0 to begin testing next school year.

"We're trying to get our kids educated about the perils of steroid use, but for them sometimes it's almost like a parent talking to you. We feel if a kid could be randomly selected, he might be one of those individuals who would back off," said IHSA board member Anthony Rainey. What's also likely is that parents might be the ones pushing their kids into the steroids because they see a future big payday if the kid becomes a star.

So those of you kiddies who thought you might have found the upper hand to winning state in discus, or thought you just might get that football scholarship to Notre Dame if you could just bulk up a bit? Cheating on the field's gonna cost you like it would in the classroom.