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Student-Athletes May Be Randomly Tested for Steroid Use [AUDIO]

Sports and steroids are almost synonymous these days, and that’s why New Jersey is looking to crack down on steroid use among young student-athletes.

Peter Dazeley, Getty Images

The full Assembly has unanimously approved a bill to allow random steroid testing of student-athletes who compete in championship tournaments, and require the creation of programs to raise awareness among students and coaches about the dangers of steroid use.

“I’m hoping that it deters students from using steroids,” said Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “I’m hoping that they understand the ramifications and the risks — medically, physically and mentally. I’m hoping that when they compete in their championships they’re competing on a fair playing field. This will be one of the deterrents and we’ll find out exactly, especially with the random testing, how prevalent it is.”

Under the legislation, the state Department of Education and the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association would be required to work together to develop and implement a testing program student-athletes who qualify to compete in tournaments sanctioned by the association. The program would be implemented by the 2014-2015 school year.

Anyone who coaches a public or nonpublic school interscholastic sport, dance, or cheerleading team must incorporate into the team’s training activities a gender-specific program designed to reduce the use of steroids and performance-enhancing supplements, alcohol and drugs, and to promote healthy nutrition and exercise.

The bill also mandates that the NJSIAA provide anti-steroid and anti-performance-enhancing supplement advertisements in any brochure, pamphlet, handout, program, book, or other type of material produced for sale or distribution at a tournament sanctioned by the association.

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