N.J. High School Athletes to Be Tested for Steroids

Under the New Jersey program, a medical review officer will get the results of an athlete's test first to see whether there is a medical reason for the student to test positive for a banned substance. A two-member committee will be created to hear student appeals, Baly said.

"If they continue to appeal, it can go up to the commission and the courts," he added.

Mangat said the ACLU had not yet decided if it would take legal action to stop the enforcement of the program. In addition to potential legal problems with the policy, Mangat also pointed out financial concerns.

Funding the Program

"These tests are pretty expensive, anywhere from $100 to $200," Mangat said. "In an era of diminished state resources for education funding, we really have to ask ourselves if this is the best use for taxpayer dollars,"

State Sen. Richard J. Codey ordered the New Jersey association to develop a steroid-testing policy in December in his final days as acting governor.

He said the state would provide $50,000 to help cover the cost of testing, which the state athletic association would match.

Switalski proposed paying for the tests in Michigan with a $1 surcharge on admission to state tournament games.

"Baseball owners and commissioners turned a blind eye to it for over a decade and they've let that curse of steroids grow like a cancer in the sport," he said. "We should take that as a lesson. If we don't police it, we're telling our kids that cheating is OK, that illegal drugs are good, that winning trumps fair play, and we don't have the guts to enforce the rules because we don't want to rock the vote."

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