The Importance Of Drug Testing In College

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The Importance Of Drug Testing In College Athletics Essay, Research Paper The Importance of Drug Testing in Collegiate Athletics Athletics have existed in our world since the beginning of the human race. The spirit of competition has inspired many men to push their bodies to the utmost limits in an effort to excel to the highest possible levels for their respective sports. This immense desire for athletic perfection has driven some athletes to seek an unfair edge over their competition. This advantage comes in the way of illegal performance enhancing drugs. The topic of steroids and similar drugs has been very popular in the news media in the past decade. We have witnessed many heroes stripped of their pride after a drug test rendered them ineligible to compete. The National

Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been forced to tighten the rules governing drug use among its athletes. These regulations do not stop at merely outlawing “performance enhancers”, but also restrict the use of narcotics such as marijuana. The NCAA has taken a positive stand in an effort to keep college athletes from falling victim to the plague that many of our professional athletes have succumb to. It is essential that the National Collegiate Athletic Association continue its excellent anti-doping campaign in order to rid college sports of the recent rash of drug use amongst its athletes. The National Collegiate Athletic Association currently employs Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis s (IUPUI) medical science building to perform the bulk of its

urine based drug testing. This laboratory also handles the testing of urine samples for the United States Olympic Committee and the National Football League. The NCAA did not begin using this specific site until after the Pan American Games of 1987 which were held in Indianapolis. This major collegiate governing body sends approximately 6,000 urine specimens to this location each year. The medical center screens these samples for any substance deemed to be illegal by the NCAA. These doping agents may include anything from anabolic steroids to marijuana or other narcotic substances. Frank Uryasz is the director of sports sciences for the NCAA, and with this position comes the responsibility of overseeing the administration of drug testing. He feels as though the affiliation with

the medical center at IUPUI is essential to the NCAA s drug testing campaign, It s a national resource when it comes to our national anti-doping efforts. Working with them has been a wonderful experience for us. (Horgan, 1998, p. 1). The urinalyses that are performed can be quite expensive. The tests can detect a total of 180 different compounds from a mere half-ounce urine specimen. The cost however per procedure runs $120 for standard steroid screening and $180 for the full detection of all illegal agents. The NCAA feels as though the benefits of drug testing far outweigh the expenses incurred in order to subsidize these costly procedures. The lab in Indianapolis operates on an astounding $1.5 million annual budget. The testing center owns 10 gas chromatograph mass

spectrometers (GCMS), each coming with a price tag of $90,000. Larry Bowers, the director of the laboratory at IUPIU expresses that there is little profit involved in a business like his. The equipment is very expensive and the fact of the matter is there is not a lot of money to be made in the business. That s not a good match. It s really a difficult area to get into. There aren t a lot of margins. (Horgan, 1998, p. 2) In top level athletics there can be insurmountable pressures to use performance-enhancing drugs. Many reports have shown that the drug use begins with the particular coach s encouragement. A prime example occurs in the track and field community. Since times and distances are measurable objective amounts, improved results will be noticed directly in an individual