Opinion

Commentary: Texas school should stop testing for steroids

This editorial appeared in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Testing high school athletes for steroids represents good intentions run amok. Cash-strapped Texas legislators need to wave the white flag on this one and move on.

In the last legislative session, Texas lawmakers established the nation’s most-extensive program.

The goal was to randomly test more than 40,000 athletes by the end of this school year at a cost of $6 million over two years.

According to the University Interscholastic League, only four positive results were found after testing 10,407 randomly selected Texas high school athletes. For those keeping score at home, that is a positive rate of less than .0004, or $750,000 to catch a student in the act.

Predictably, lawmakers who pushed for its passage in 2007 are undeterred.

Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, sponsored the legislation and calls the testing program an "incredible success."

Gov. Rick Perry still backs the program, but suggests a more modest effort. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who made the testing a legislative priority, believes it is too early to draw conclusions.

Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, expressed a more prevalent point of view: "Colossal waste of taxpayer money."

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

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