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Pissing into the wind

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As if it’s not bad enough that living in Illinois I have to suffer through corrupt politicians, money grabs disguised as a 2016 Olympics bid, and Cubs fans, now I’ve got the state lusting even harder after my children’s urine.

The state recently expanded its steroid-testing law to allow random tests of Illinois High School Association athletes during the regular season as well as the playoffs, and expanded the pool of potential whizzers to 1,000. My own kids aren’t high-school athletes yet. The closest is a seventh-grader soon to try out for the volleyball team. But, to sound a little Republican for a minute, it’s pisses me off that my tax money is going down the toilet like this, and reducing me to bathroom puns.

[youtubevid id="LKZM_GdzA08"]

The only Whizzer Illinois needs.

Why am I against something that is so important so we can Protect the Children? Because there’s no evidence high school testing of steroids, as it has been conducted, is any better at ferreting out performance-enhancing drug use that anything the major leagues have done.

To date, only three other states have conducted steroid testing of high school athletes: New Jersey, Florida and Texas. In Florida, one out of 600 athletes have tested positive. In Texas, it was 19 out of 45,000. I can’t find information on New Jersey or Illinois, but I presume neither discovered a rampant steroid problem. Backers of the programs say they are working, because clearly kids are scared straight out of taking PEDs.

Nonbackers such as myself say that the number of positives is low because most high school athletes don’t have designs on a future career, and are thus not taking steroids. Those that are probably have people who tell them how to cycle to avoid a positive test, particularly by taken human growth hormone or something else that won’t be tested. Plus, the laws have no authority over travel and club sports, so athletes there can have an andro cocktail every day without worry.

New Jersey’s program, which tests 500 athletes during playoffs, is in place. But Florida killed its program this year because of budget cuts. It costs $166 per test. Texas cut its steroid-testing budget by two-thirds, to $2 million from $6 million.

Texas school sports authorities are fearful the cuts mean athletes will take steroids by the fistful. I highly doubt that. Just like I doubt that kids in Illinois will stop (or start) taking steroids based on the law in my state. If my seventh-grader develops back acne and 12-pack abs, perhaps I’ll change my mind. Sure, I don’t encourage any taking steroids. But I also don’t encourage my government wasting its time worrying about, especially when budgets are so tight.

Written by rkcookjr

August 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

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