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No More Steroid Testing For Texas Student Athletes?

Updated: Tuesday, June 24 2014, 12:11 PM CDT

Random steroid testing for school athletes at the state level could be discontinued. That's the recommendation from the Sunset Commission, which identifies government waste in Texas state agencies.

But KEYE TV wanted to know if the watchdog goes away will it open the flood gates to students juicing?

It's a tempting way to build muscle fast.

"I've already got this blessed athletic ability. Is it gods plan for me to push it further? I want to find out. I guess that's the way I would put it," says national body builder competitor Ed Browne Jr. He says he's seen people push the needle firsthand, using anabolic steroids to give athletes that extra competitive edge.

"If used inappropriately in the case of athletes and body builders they give the classic extremely muscled look, lots of extra muscle mass, extra strength," says Dr. Browne with Scott & White Round Rock.

In 2008 the Texas Legislature required the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, to create a random steroid testing program -- one of only three states in the country to do so.

If student athletes didn't pass they wouldn't play and could eventually be banned from school sports.

The goal was to test up to 50,000 kids each year.

"That's more students than are drug-tested or steroid-tested by the NCAA. That's actually more athletes tested than at the Olympic level," says UIL Athletic Coordinator Mark Cousins.

But KEYE TV has learned funding cuts forced the UIL to drop that to around 3,000 students each year. And now a legislative commission recommends cutting the program completely, saying it would save more than half a million a year.

They say they can't keep up with all the steroids on the market, there's lower use with students and it doesn't catch very many people, among other reasons.

During six years of testing around 63,000 students only 190 tests came back positive -- that's less than one percent.

The Sunset Commission argues some schools are already steroid testing and can be more effective and efficient than state testing.

Reported by Adam Racusin and Hema Mullur

No More Steroid Testing For Texas Student Athletes?

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