Steroids Testing a Head Scratcher

Is it really worth the money taxpayers spend to test Texas high school athletes?

In an Associated Press story on Tuesday, the four states whose governments began testing high school athletes this past year released their results, and it kind of seems like some people have wasted some money on that testing.

It's true, steroids are bad, especially for young people to be messing with, but with the small percentage of kids who tested positive for the drug, it doesn't seem like it's as big of a problem as some might have feared.

Sure, there have been extreme cases that ended in tragedy, such as the now infamous incident involving a baseball player from Plano West, who in the summer of 2003, killed himself because of apparent side effects of steroids.

As terrible as that was, it seems a bit pointless to spend tons of cash to find 18 positive tests out of more than 30,000 kids tested in New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

Let's examine the specifics of the Texas results. According the AP story, the projected cost of the testing for two years is $6 million to test up to 50,000 kids.

This from the story:


Tests administered: 28,934

Positive results: 9

Notes: Results reflect spring 2008 and fall 2008 semesters. Additionally, there were 14 unresolved tests sent for review and 70 "process positives" in which students had unexcused absences, refused to give samples or left testing sites.

So the total number of at least shady results is 93 out of 28,934 (a minute percentage) and positive are 9 out of 28,934 (a minuter percentage).

So if we continue this pace, that will be 18 positive tests in two years for $6 million. That comes out to $333,333.33 per positive test.

Those are expensive steroid tests.

Adam Boedeker is a sports writer/blogger for the Denton Record-Chronicle. He's ready for the Madness.

Copyright FREEL - NBC Local Media
Contact Us