Tests For Football, Baseball And Weightlifters
LABELLE, FL. -- Governor Charlie Crist today signed House Bill 461 establishing a pilot program that provides for random steroid testing of high school athletes participating in interscholastic football, baseball, and weightlifting. The Governor also signed House Bill 463 making student records relating to steroid drug tests confidential.
"We have a responsibility to teach our children about the serious health risks as well as the legal penalties associated with steroid use," said Governor Crist. "By creating awareness among athletes, parents, coaches and school administrators early, we can help prevent serious health problems and drug abuse later on."
House Bill 461 requires the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to establish a random anabolic steroid testing program for the 2007-2008 school year. Up to one percent of high school student athletes will be tested. Involvement in the pilot program is a prerequisite for all schools to be members of the FHSAA, both public and private. The question remains whether student athletes will guess than their chances are slim in getting caught as less than one athlete in a hundred will be tested.
House Bill 463 creates a public records exemption, making students' records relating to anabolic steroid drug tests confidential and exempt from public disclosure. The bill also provides an exemption from public meeting requirements when the exempt records are discussed or presented. This means no one other than school authorities will be able to determine what individual has tested positive for illegal drugs. Observers says this legislation will not help curb drug use by athletes but will prove a boon to private drug testing companies now setting up to provide the student testing.