Anti-steroid bill being pushed by state lawmakers

Tuesday, January 25th 2005, 8:47 am
By: News On 6

The illegal use of steroids in professional sports has made headlines in recent months. Now, two Oklahoma lawmakers are pushing for tougher laws to keep middle and high school athletes away from the drug.

6 in the Morning reporter Omar Villafranca says steroid-use has always been looked down on in professional sports. And recent government involvement in stopping it has made headlines. You've probably heard about a number of athletes including baseball stars Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi in the BALCO case. There, prosecutors went after steroid makers and distributors.

Now two state lawmakers are taking it a step further and going after students who use them. State Representative Jeff Hickman of Woodward and Thad Balkman of Norman have proposed a bill to kick middle school and high school athletes out of sports for "one year" if they test positive for steroids.

The bill would also allow school boards to impose their own punishments as they see necessary. School drug testing policies are set at the local level. And if a student tests positive for steroids, punishment is left up to the schools.

The lawmakers say sometimes school officials feel pressured to not punish a star athlete. But with a state law in place, the punishment would be clear.

John Hamill with Tulsa Public Schools says TPS doesn't randomly drug test their students or athletes, unless they have probable cause.

Lawmakers hope to pass the law this session and have it in place as soon as possible.