Perry: Texas Has No Big Steroid Problem

Texas' massive high school steroid testing program shows the state doesn't have a problem and lawmakers should consider scaling it down in cost and scope, Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday.

The $6 million program first passed in 2007 aims to test up to 50,000 public school athletes by the end of June. The first 10,000 tests revealed only four positive tests of steroid use.

"It tells us the way the program is structured, we don't have a large-scale steroid program in this state. On its face, that's what four out of 10,000 tells you," Perry told The Associated Press.

"Do you leave some kind of program in place as some kind of deterrent? I certainly don't have a problem with that," Perry said. "Do we need to test every kid in school?"

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Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst made the $6 million program one of his top priorities in 2007. Perry, also a Republican, signed it into law.

The program sends testers from the National Center for Drug Free Sport to campuses across the state. Male and female athletes from all sports are randomly selected to provide a urine sample.

The program is the largest of its kind in the country. Perry said he can understand critics of the program who say it is too expensive and unnecessary in its current scope.

"That may be a bit too much money, a bit too much work for the return," Perry said. "The good news is we're finding out our kids aren't anywhere near as enthralled with these enhancing drugs as some people seemed to think two years ago."

Dewhurst's office said last week he thinks it's too early to draw conclusions. The Legislature is supposed to get an update on results next month.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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