Crist Signs Steroid Testing Policy
It took a determined state representative more than three years to get a bill passed that would prevent steriod use among high school athletes.
It'll take effect this fall, but some North Central Florida Athletes aren't sweating this new policy.
It's a policy that the entire state will have to adhere to, but Marion County voluntarily imposed the testing for the past year and a half. They've tested more than 300 students and none have tested positive. But will other counties be as receptive?
High school athletes are in the school gym over the summer, getting in shape for the next season. They're doing it through pumping iron not taking steriods.
Governor Crist signed a bill today that would mandate that next year's student athletes will be tested randomly.
"If you are competing in high school athletics you should be open to random drug testing whenever they feel it's necessary.. and the test needs to be random", said Eastside High School Coach LaTroy Strappy.
Republican Representative Marcelo Llorente of Miami says, "...Florida is in essence leading the way and there's only a few other states that have done anything as relates to high school athletes and steroids use and I'm glad that we're one of them."
The policy will be piloted just for next year and adminstered by the Florida High School Athletic Association, and it only applies to football, baseball and weightlifting.
"You have people who work hard every day and dedicate themselves and you really don't want any cheaters", said 10th Grader Braxton Linton.
The state has set aside $100,000 dollars to test only one percent of athletes from grades 9 through 12. But random testing is meant to discourage the use of performance enhancing drugs; something that in the last few years have come under fire in professional sports.
High School Baseball Coach Aaron Clark says, "...they see that these guys are making millions of dollars and doing certain things and they all want to be a part of that, and there's no magic pill."
"What happened to the good old work ethics you you hit the weight room, you put the extra time in...do what ever you need to improve your skills", said Strappy.
11th Grader Matthew Miller says, "This would be the way to let them know there's no free ride so you have to work hard for where ever you want to be."
Strappy's athletes don't worry about the policy, because they police themselves.
The Florida High School Athletic Association worked on the bill and will contribute to the cost of testing.
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