Thursday, December 22, 2005

New Jersey High Schools and Steroids

Acting Governor Richard J. Codey signed an executive order on Tuesday, permitting random testing of NJ high school athletes for steroids. NJ is the first state to have such testing and for at least one day, New Jersey will be known for leading the nation in a good thing. Until tomorrow that is, when the jokes about my state smelling return.

An East Coast Governator signs for steroid testing.

Beginning in the 2006-7 school year, it will cover all 31 cahampionship sports (wow, 31!), though only test players in 2006-7 post season play. The testing method and penalties haven't been decided yet, but this is certainly a welcome move. I was always curious how some of my fellow students got so jacked-up when it seemed we were spending the same amount of time playing sports or lifting weights.

Steroid testing is a nice move and may scare a couple of kids away, but the reality is it won't stop the majority of users. The reward far outweighs the risk so why not use it if you don't mind sacrificing your long-term health? By testing only those athletes in the post season, it doesn't mean that you've insured legal athletes win titles. What about those kids who use and compete in the regular season, thereby altering the regular season results because they're literally not on a level playing field as the legal athletes? The testing needs more teeth.

If I'm willing to take steroids, I would continue using them all season long because I won't be tested unless I succeed enough to make the post season. Then, if I get caught, so be it, but why not try and get by? The testing doesn't stop juiced athletes from affecting the outcome of regular season games - which of course determine who gets to play for a championship. The problem is if a juiced athlete is caught in the regular season, there's no way to "do over" the regular season that they excelled in by cheating. You can't make the legit athlete who's not in the post season feel better by simply kicking out the juiced athlete in the playoffs. This steroid testing should be season-long, otherwise regular season contests will continue awarding the juiced ones.

No comments: