There has been a strong debate on whether it is necessary for school athletes to undergo drug tests before they are allowed to compete in athletics competitions. This makes them aware of their responsibilities as amateur athletes to prepare them for a future career in athletics.
Drug testing in schools helps to deter young amateur athletes from engaging in doping which may have negative consequences for their future careers. It is necessary for school athletes to undergo drug tests to make them learn that cheating is not beneficial to their careers.
Goldberg (2010) asserts that schools need to use certified laboratories to test their athletes to get accurate results (p. 76). This paper will discuss why it is important for school athletes to take drug tests.
Schools need to speak to parents, student-athletes and their coaches to make them understand the importance of drug tests. This will help them get support from all important stakeholders who have a say on the way sports are run.
This will help schools to come with more standardized testing procedures which are known to be effective and reliable. Drug testing for school athletes needs to be made mandatory to ensure all participants are willing to compete fairly in sports.
Athletes need to be told which substances are illegal and how they can avoid to consume them. In some cases, some athletes may consume performance enhancing substances without knowing because they have inadequate knowledge of their effects (DuPont & Brady, 2005, p. 88).
Athletes need to be educated on all prohibited performance enhancing substances to enable them to avoid situations which can hurt their prospects.
Schools need to develop effective treating procedures to make all athletes confident of their reliability. The tests used to determine cheating need to conform to acceptable standards recommended by relevant athletics organizations.
Tests need to be random to ensure that students are selected at any time to get tested. Schools should consider using random urine tests because they are spontaneous and are used by many athletics organizations across the world.
Random tests are effective deterrents because athletes will not dope because they will fear getting caught. The random tests need to be administered in an environment that guarantees confidentiality and accuracy of the results obtained.
Schools need to have medical officers to ascertain if a student has been taking a banned substance willingly or unwillingly. Some different forms of medications contain banned substances, which may cause an athlete to be accused of doping unfairly (Harrelson, Gardner & Winterstein,2009, p. 67).
Some athletic officials and school administrators have argued that it is difficult for schools to test their athletes. They feel that drug testing in schools makes some athletes feel victimized and this hurts their development.
Therefore, schools need to test their athletes’ urine specimens in certified laboratories, which have been approved by recognized athletic organizations in the country. Wong (2010) argues that schools should only use laboratories which have a track record of consistency and reliability (p. 106).
This will make it possible for drug tests to be done in a professional manner to obtain accurate and credible results.
Laboratories need to measure toxic levels of substances consumed in the bloodstream of each athlete. Effective drug tests will enable schools to come up with better measures to curb cheating by their athletes.
DuPont, R. L., & Brady L. (2005). Drug testing in schools: Guidelines for effective use. New York, NY: Hazelden Publishing.
Goldberg, R. (2010). Drugs across the spectrum. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Harrelson, G. L, Gardner, G, & Winterstein, A. P. ( 2009). Administrative topics in athletic training: Concepts to practice. Thorofare, NJ: Slack Books.
Wong, G. M. (2010). Essentials of sports law. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.