Local athletes keeping clean?

March 28, 2008 3:42:40 AM PDT
Dozens of Houston area high school athletes have become the first to undergo random testing for steroids. At Jefferson Davis High School, baseball coach Antonio Singleton isn't just proud of his team's 13-5 record. He's also proud his athletes are playing clean.

"My thing is at the end of the day, did you earn what you get," he said.

Eyewitness News has learned 45 student athletes at Davis have already undergone steroid testing and not one single student tested positive.

"We have nothing to hide," said Coach Singleton. "Like I said, our kids, they're good kids."

The testing is part of a new state law. Over the next two years, approximately 30 percent of all high school student athletes will be tested for performance enhancement drugs. Senator Kyle Janek of Houston sponsored the bill.

"Our goal is twofold," he said. "First, to define whether this is a problem in Texas or not. But also importantly to deter students from doing it. And the deterrent is from the actual threat of being tested."

For the month of February, Eyewitness News has learned that 435 students state-wide have been tested, including seven schools in HISD. Out of those, no positive test results came back. HISD Athletic Director Daryl Wade sees that as a very good sign.

"I think that's a great thing to know, with the education we've been providing already, is working for our kids," said Wade.

The program will cost the state about $6 million and will run until the end of 2009. Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 students could be subject to the testing.

Parents Guadalupe Zapata thinks that's a great idea.

"It should make a difference," she said. "Their parents know what's going on at school."

There are stiff penalties if you fail a steroid test. With the first failed test, there's a 30 day suspension from a UIL sport. The second positive test means a one-year suspension from UIL sports. And with the third strike comes UIL expulsion for the remainder of high school.

This story was brought to you through our partnership with Houston Community Newspapers. You can read more about it in the Bellaire Examiner.

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