Monday, February 19, 2007
If you like high school sports take a big sigh of relief for now.
On Sunday, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association announced no high school athlete in fall sports had tested positive for steroids.
Thank you, Jesus. There is still some purity in sports.
In October, New Jersey had become the first state to institute steroid testing for high school athletes.
At the time, Robert F. Kanaby, the executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations, said he hoped the plan would serve as a model for other states.
The plan tested all state tournament-bound athletes and cost in the area of $100,000.
Bert Borgmann, the assistant commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association, said in October that Colorado didn't plan on following New Jersey. He cited test costs and whether it would be productive as to why Colorado wouldn't follow New Jersey's road map.
Mr. Borgmann's decision was correct at the time. Steroid testing now - without further information on costs and what tests work and don't work - doesn't make sense.
But in five years I firmly believe Colorado, along with the rest of the country, will test high school athletes for performance-enhancing drugs.
Just reading that should make people sick. It makes me sick.
I'm from the breed that usually cares solely about winning. My favorite color is winning.
But in the scheme of sports, it's only bound to happen that we take the purity of high school sports and jam them into the testing labs of a 4-by-4 bathroom.
If you don't believe there will be steroid testing in high school sports, all you have to do is look at the model Major League Baseball gave us.
In less than 10 years, Major League Baseball's gone from turning the cold shoulder to the problem to spending more time in front of Congress than the Iraq Study Group.
Mark McGwire, then Barry Bonds, then BALCO, then positive tests, then sealed document leaks, then books about positive tests, and so on and on and on and on and on.
It's gone from nothing to the biggest story in sports this century. Maybe the biggest story we've had in the last 10 years.
In 50 years we might look at the steroid scandal in baseball as the single most influential thing to happen in sports in the last century.
Why not expect the same process to "transcend" high school sports.
What would have happened if little Johnny had tested positive in New Jersey? You don't think other states, Congress, the president, a parents against (fill in the blank) group and the media would have demanded high school students be tested.
I'm not saying testing high school students would completely take the purity out of the sport.
It's still great to watch.
But it's bound to be tainted. A high schooler will test positive.
It'll be a sad day for sports and an even sadder day for high school sports.
Just be ready for the whirlwind that follows.
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