Connected to a recent presentation at Quincy High School (Massachusetts) titled Quincy students given a lesson on dangers of steroids, the PatriotLedger.com put out a poll asking;
So should they???
Tough question. In short, I would say YES!!! As long as three things occur:
1. It is random testing of high school athletes in all sports all season long, not just the winning teams and athletes during and after the state series. Anyone can be tested at any time.
2. That the cost of this testing does not put a burden on the State as it is passed on to the athletes, becoming part of the fees they pay to play.
3. Consequences are consistently applied and much stronger than the positives one receives through steroid use.
In this manner, testing would become a solid deterrent.
However, it is imperative to keep in mind that testing is only a part of the solution. Along with this testing should be some thought given to addressing the ethical boundaries that users are crossing without thinking twice about it, and in educating young athletes on the physical and mental/emotional dangers of using these substances, some of which are just beginning to emerge.
It is becoming more and more prevalent that athletes, and people in general, are taking a laissez-faire-type attitude toward making unethical choices. These poor behavioral choices (at the highest levels of sport) are certainly prevalent in the media as they pop up on a regular basis. And high school athletics are certainly not immune to poor decision-making, even though we would like them to be.
Perfect behavior is, of course, an impossibility; everyone makes mistakes, that is a given. However, "cheating" or behaving in a manner that you know (upfront) is not "right," all with an attitude that it is "OK" as long as you don't get caught, is a big part of what is at the heart of this issue. It is automatic when one loses perspective on what "it" is supposed to be about and when winning at all costs attitudes start to dominate one's thinking.
Find a way to change the belief system above and performance-enhancing drug use (steroids HGH, and other PED's) becomes a non-issue.