SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Question of the day

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009

* This bill has already passed the House, but today’s Sun-Times editorial reminded me to ask the question. The setup is from a recent Tribune story

Student-athletes across the state would be subject to random drug testing throughout the season if a bill that was unanimously passed by the House on Thursday is approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Illinois last fall joined Texas, New Jersey and Florida in testing its high school athletes in a plan implemented and funded by the Illinois High School Association. Florida dropped its state-funded program in mid-February, citing a lack of money.

Sponsoring Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) said the bill proposes testing an additional 1,000 student-athletes each year from at least 25 percent of Illinois high schools. […]

Of the 264 tests that were administered last fall, 258 came back negative; the six others were granted medical exceptions.

“I think it’s a good thing because it will even the playing field,” said Nazareth running back LaSteven McKinney, a junior. “With the old system, they had time to clear their system before a random test. I think most kids still think they won’t get caught.”

The Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes the legislation because “there ought to be some basis on which to do that search,” said spokesman Ed Yohnka.

* The Question: Should Illinois’ high school athletes be randomly tested for performance enhancing drugs? Explain fully. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Shore - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:40 am:

    As a Republican I generally support things like this, but as a former student athlete I think it’s highly unnecessary. The vast majority of student athletes in high school don’t play running back for the Dillon Panthers and it seems like a huge waste of money to test the Deerfield High School women’s golf team for drugs.

  2. - OneMan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:46 am:

    If it gives a kid a reason to say no.. “Yeah I would love to but it’s football season and I might get tested” I don’t have an issue with it.

  3. - Sacks Romana - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    No. In addition to being a violation of the right to privacy, it serves absolutely no purpose at a huge expense.

    The medical expemptions above means that out of 264 tests, 264 came back negative. I knew plenty of people and athletes in high school that were on low prescription steroids for a variety of legitimate medical conditions. They were not performance enhancing.

    What is the ratio of high school athletes using performance enhancing drugs to those flunking classes but having the coaches and admins pulling strings so they can still compete. At my high school kids were sometimes busted for drinking on the weekends by the police. If they were football players, it was unlikely they’d miss a game. Other athletes or students would sometimes be suspended for these off-campus incidents. And even these problems shouldn’t be addressed by the state, but local school boards and PTA.

    And aside from athletes, there are way more adolescents with drug problems far more serious than the miniscule amount of student athelets using performance enhancing drugs. This bill is a joke and an insult to the real problems facing teenagers.

    The easiest and best solution to stop young athletes from using performance enhancers is to really outlaw them in professional sports instead of glorifying every new home run hitter that just went up four helmet sizes in the last year.

  4. - Heartless Libertarian - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 11:52 am:

    Was tested 3 or 4 times when I was in high school… never came back positive… I was quite surprised….

  5. - Deep South - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:06 pm:

    Random drug testing of teachers and coaches first, then student-athletes.

  6. - Ghost - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:29 pm:

    Random drug testing of legislatures who vote on laws first, then students.

    BTW, since we are in a fiscal crisis, who pays for this and who gets thejuicy contract to do the testing.

  7. - Amy - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    yes, then maybe we can extend it to all pro athletes in a way that will have some consequences. everyone should be on the Olympics standard when it comes to athletics and performance enhancing drugs.

  8. - Fan of the Game - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 12:40 pm:

    While it’s legal already for Illinois schools to randomly test student-athletes for performance enhancing drugs, it shouldn’t be mandated. It’s a costly exercise for school districts, and the percentage of students using such drugs is miniscule.

    School districts (and the state) have much better uses for their resources.

  9. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:11 pm:

    Most troubling is the blind acceptance that whatever lab is doing the analysis is qualified and follows procedure. The cycling world (to Amy’s point–Olympic level testing) has been rocked by a series of positive tests that any honest scientist wouldn’t vouch for.

    The standards are supposed to be in line with the World Anti-Doping Agency which was run by Dick Pound for a long time. Dick Pound and his colleagues are incompetent buffoons who understand virtually nothing about confidence intervals.

    WPA is even starting to lose cases in front of the kangaroo courts they set up. It’s simply not fair to high school athletes to have their reputation put at stake over mediocre science.

  10. - Hair today, gone.... - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:30 pm:

    When my daughters high school golf team entered end of season tournaments last fall, we got letters informing us of the random testing. I was happy my daughter didn’t think it was a big deal. In my high school days, this could have been problematic.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:36 pm:

    Hmm. Not an incredibly popular QOTD, I see.

  12. - bman - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:52 pm:

    it is unfortunate that drug testing is needed at any level of sports. However our society has put way too much emphasis on athletics. Professional and college level sports have already been corrupted. Maybe high school sports can return to where drug testing is not neccesary. Another point is that it isn’t the student athletes. Remember the story where a high school football coach would only let the players drink fluids supplied by the team, only to find out steriods had been added. The whole scenario is just too darn sad.

  13. - Frank Booth - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:53 pm:

    Yes and as a treat to AFSCME the legislation should require testing be done by certified, unionized Illinois Department of Public Health labs, which will require more staffing to handle the influx and quick turnaround.
    Everybody wins, except for the roid users.

  14. - just ducky - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 1:56 pm:

    how many high schools are that fantastic on the national stage? not many. if those schools want to test to promote their athletes to professional sports leagues, let them pay for it. i’d rather see IHSA contributing to oh, i don’t know, education for cheerleaders about the importance of proper nutrition or teaching all sports participants how to properly lift weights and exercise to prevent the life-long injuries they’re suffering now or recruiting qualified coaches, for heaven’s sake. i know too many young high schoolers already facing surgeries from the extreme demands on their little bodies, not to mention that these kids play sports to learn something from someone who ought to know something about the sport –not some no one off the street who encourages students to tee-pee houses as a team building exercise.

  15. - Dan S, a Voter, Taxpayer and Cubs Fan - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:22 pm:

    If there is nothing illegal to hide then what is the problem with testing?

  16. - Nearly Normal - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:26 pm:

    I taught at a downstate school that random tested all students participating in IHSA sponsored events including band, debate and speech teams, etc. During the three years before I retired in ‘05 only two students tested positive. One was banished from sports for the year and the other was proven to have had a false positive from taking doctor ordered prescription drugs.

    Most of the hard-core users were not in school-sponsored activities. It probably made those who dabbled cut back during season.

    THe method was urine tests. This did not test for long-term use such as a hair sample would detect. When I substitute taught in Peoria in 2006 at Notre Dame High I had to submit a hair sample for a drug test as part of my employment. So, they found out I was not a natural blond.

  17. - Joe Schmoe - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 2:37 pm:

    If I recall correctly, this first year of the IHSA mandated random drug testing of students participating in IHSA state tournaments has resulted in NO positive tests. None. Zip. Zero.

    So is it worth it? Sure as hell is. Just the idea of random testing serves as a wonderful deterrent.

  18. - JI - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 3:24 pm:

    My high school started it while I was a student about 4-6 years ago. Not only was it for student athletes but randomly for any student involved in ANY extra-curricular.

    I’d say test randomly for any extra-curriculars, but test ALL student athletes. As well as all teachers and coaches.

  19. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 4:09 pm:

    I’m rather baffled by so many in this thread just assuming the science is good when the very standards the World Anti-Doping agency uses are a joke in many cases. The testosterone standards aren’t based on reasonable confidence intervals and as I mentioned even some of the kangaroo courts set up by WADA have started dismissing supposed positive test results.

    But add to this the problem of these are growing people with hormones out of whack–how do you effectively test for testosterone in teenage boys when you don’t know the 95% confidence intervals?

    The report linked in the story essentially says that there isn’t a 5% significance level to the test, but a 14% which is well outside of standard statistical practice. Of course, in a test like this you would still want to shoot for 1% significance level at least or you would find 50 students out of the 1000 student random sample who would be identified as using a performance enhancing substance even though they were not.

    Develop the science–meaning in the case of testosterone–do a long range study of testosterone levels before you start testing people for it.

  20. - zoble - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 6:52 pm:

    As a parent of 2 high school athletes, I have no problem with this idea. But here’s another. How about testing welfare recipients as a requirement
    to receive aid? Other states have started this.

  21. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Mar 31, 09 @ 6:56 pm:

    No. I haven’t seen that it’s been identified as a problem.

    There are good education efforts going on in the sport I’m involved in. Believe me, the high schoolers I know are down on steriods. They resent that the baseball memories of their childhood was stolen from them because of the cheating by Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, ARod, et al.

  22. - Lynn S - Wednesday, Apr 1, 09 @ 12:22 am:

    Oh, all the taxpayers will be paying for it. Can’t wait for the uproar when we have to cut positions to balance the budget because of this.

    Good question about the lab contacts, though. Rich, do you know anything/have you heard anything?

    My choice: first test the legislators, then the admin. staff within the district, then the coaches and teachers, and finally the atheletes. Wouldn’t we all like to see those results??

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* File this under "Stuff I didn't know"
* Question of the day
* From the mouths of babes
* You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
* Unclear on the concept
* *** LIVE COVERAGE *** Gov. Rauner press conference
* Zopp whacked as she prepares to air TV ads
* *** UPDATED x1 - Not exactly limo levels *** Should voter registration be easier or tougher?
* Rate the Alvarez kick-off video
* Face facts and stop playing the victim
* Joe Tybor
* Poll: Majority of Southern Illinois voters disapprove of Rauner
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Samsung releases Game Tuner app, lets you adjust game graphics
* T-Mobile burns AT&T over craptacular response to customer suggestions
* LINE messaging app announces End-to-End Encryption feature
* Access and edit PDFs easier with Dropbox sync with Adobe
* Review: The Gamevice Turns Your iPad Mini Into a Portable Gaming Console
* Apple patents Touch ID alternative for the Mac
* Remix Mini is showing off, does all the things you need it to do

* The 10 best White Sox games of 2015
* Curtain rises on prospect-packed Fall League
* Podcast: Pitchers and Catchers review
* Chase Utley's takeout "slide" could be the tipping point
* First White Sox bench coach candidate emerges
* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Governor Bruce Rauner wants to sell James R. Th.....
* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago -.....
* Gov. Rauner Wants to Sell Thompson Center - WSIU..
* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago -.....
* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago -.....
* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago -.....
* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago -.....
* Rauner wants to sell downtown Chicago state off.....
* Illinois governor will sell government building.....
* Gov. Rauner Wants to Sell Thompson Center - The.....

* Gov wants to auction state offices in Chicago
* Thompson Center architect says facility should be repurposed
* School won't comply with order regarding transgender student
* McHenry teachers union approves contract to end strike
* EXCHANGE: Churches work together to preserve historic home
* Public can see Stanley Cup in Millennium Park on Wednesday
* Coalition urges Illinois communities to plant oak trees
* Automatic Illinois voter registration expected in committee
* $5M grant to ISU will aid young people in Champaign County
* Former reporter and Illinois Supreme Court spokesman dies

* Thompson laments decline of building, but says decision to sell isn't his
* Rauner wants to sell state's Thompson Center in downtown Chicago
* Newest state senator backs Rauner's Turnaround Agenda
* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* State criticized for approach to problem gambling
* For Illinois players, $1.6 billion in losses in three years
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair

* AB InBev may have to give up the world's best-selling beer to seal SABMiller deal
* Why Playboy needs Facebook more than it needs porn
* Playboy needs Facebook more than it needs porn
* Feds order rare probe into soaring downstate electricity prices
* Big 3 airlines flexing their political muscle in Washington

* Byrd-Bennett: Top educator now high-profile felon
* Cullerton joins campaign to bring back CTA’s No. 11 Lincoln Ave. bus
* Brown: Byrd-Bennett should save the apology, tell the truth about CPS corruption
* Blackhawks fans get emotional over picture of Patrick Sharp, Johnny Oduya with Stanley Cup rings
* Blackhawks fourth-liners embrace shutdown role
* Claypool outlines steps to prevent another Byrd-Bennett scandal
* Thompson Center to go up for sale: report
* Clinton slams Trump in front of his Vegas casino
* Byrd-Bennett back in spotlight Tuesday — for expected guilty plea
* Byrd-Bennett pleads guilty to fraud

* Game 4 live blog: Cubs 4, Cardinals 2
* Rauner looks to sell Thompson Center; architect Helmut Jahn rips state's care
* Amtrak train delayed after hitting 'heavy vehicle'
* Pittsburgh investigating officer's slam takedown of Cubs fan
* Derrick Rose 'most likely' won't play in preseason, opener in jeopardy
* Police: Attempted sexual assault reported in Lincoln Park
* Man charged in '85 murder of teenage girl pleads not guilty
* Website features 3-D views of shipwrecks along Indiana shoreline
* Supreme Court decision on Highland Park's gun law on hold
* Counterfeit Cubs tickets burn some fans

* Thompson laments decline of building, but says decision to sell isn't his
* Rauner wants to sell state's Thompson Center in downtown Chicago
* Newest state senator backs Rauner's Turnaround Agenda
* Judge: Class-action status allowed in deaf inmates' lawsuit
* Kathleen Parker: Don't do it, Paul Ryan
* WSEC-TV's CapitolView: The continuing state budget impasse
* NightReach program's impact hampered by state budget impasse
* FOIA issue of emails on private devices goes back to court
* Scott Gauvin: Citizens need more say in CWLP's future
* State criticized for approach to problem gambling

* Street closures listing
* Prosecutor: Accused 'increasingly angry' about being in jail
* On The Town: Oct. 4, 2015
* 10-13-15 News-Gazette Prep Sports Podcast
* Illinois Women's Barketball 2015-16
* Illinois Women's Basketball 2015-16
* Oct. 16 Illinois football chat
* Oct. 15 prep sports chat
* Oct. 14 Illinois basketball chat
* Parkland grad behind home plate for Cards-Cubs

* San Diego St favored to win MWC regular-season title again
* Can Bulls find playing time for Portis?
* Blackhawks' Toews to face former coach now with Flyers
* AP source: Utley's hearing scheduled for Monday
* Mundelein mulls unusual overnight parking rule

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Al Franken Pushing to Make College Textboo......
* State senators propose law to reduce textb......

* Oswego Businessman To Run Against Kirk In ......
* Suburban Republican says he'll challenge M......

* Watching Hillary, Bernie, Lincoln, Jim & Marty
* Status Check: 4800 N. Clark Close To Completion
* Oswego Businessman To Run Against Kirk In Senate Primary
* Police Chief McCarthy says "There's no magic solution" to ending Chicago violence
* Breaking: McHenry teachers and board reach a tentative agreement.
* Now & Then, Wilson & Clifton
* I can die a happy man. Tom Morello retweeted my cartoon, Tony at the Red Line.
* Environmentalists Take Aim At Morgan Stanley Over Coal Industry Financing
* Poll: Rauner's Disapproval Rating At 50 Percent Among Southern Illinois Voters
* Schakowsky Introduces Bill To Make Renewable Energy Tax Credit Permanent

* Illinois Lottery Seeks Industry Feedback in Search for New Manager - Posts Request for Information in initial search for new private partner
* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller