August, 16 2018

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Texas Steroids Testing Approved by Lawmakers

Texas public high school athletes would face mandatory random steroid testing under a bill given final approval Monday by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Rick Perry.

"I think the intent is very good. I believe in it, and I think every coach will follow it," said David Aymond, football coach at North Shore, who nevertheless has questions. "How it is going to be enforced is very unclear to us."

Don Hooton of the Taylor Hooton Foundation – established to fight steroid abuse – is among those who testified before Texas state lawmakers in support of the legislation.

Hooton's foundation bears the name of the 17-year-old high school athlete son he lost in 2003 to a suicide believed caused by abuse of anabolic steroids

"I think it's more prevalent in some areas than in others, but it's definitely something that needs to be addressed," said Daryl Wade, the Houston Independent School District's athletic director.

Budget planners set aside $3 million per year, and the program now requires a "statistically significant sample" of students, said Sen. Kyle Janek, a Houston Republican who sponsored the bill.

The state could begin testing tens of thousands of students at the start of the coming football season. It would be the largest high school steroids testing program in the country.

The Governor has not expressed any opposition to the bill.

Steroid testing has been a major component of Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst's campaign to protect children. Athletes who test positive, or refuse to be tested, could be suspended from play. Athletes in all sports, from football to wrestling to tennis, could be tested.

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