High School Athletics Steroid Prohibition
©1999 Jason Bowman

edited 4/26/12

This policy is taken from the 1997-1998 Neshaminy High School student handbook.

Policy: Steroids - Policy #510A. The policy is written as follows:

The use of anabolic steroids except for a valid medical purpose, by any pupil involved in school related athletics is prohibited. Body building, muscle enhancement, increasing muscle bulk or strength, and the enhancement of athletic ability are not valid medical purposes. A student found in violation of the rules and regulations found in Section 1 shall be subject to the following minimum penalties:

  1. For the first violation, suspension from school athletics for the remainder of the season.
  2. For a second violation, suspension from school athletics for the remainder of the season and the following season.
  3. For a third violation, permanent suspension from school athletics.
Enforcer: District Administrators, Principals, Teachers, Disciplinarians, Athletic Directors and Coaches. These enforcers are responsible for educating the students of the district and therefore should be viewed as honorable and trustworthy.

Target Population: The policy targets the users of steroids which may include primarily students involved in school athletics. This policy should not be aimed strictly at these students but encompass the entire student population. The target population will strongly resist this policy for the following reasons:

  1. Athletes gain large advantages in performance.
  2. Dealer of steroids reap capital gains.
  3. With such an emphasis on physical appearance at the high school level, users enjoy attention and/or popularity of being physically fit.
Goal: The goal of the policy is clear: rid the scholastic athletic environment of muscle enhancing drugs.

Cost of Policy: There are several possible costs related to this policy. They are as follows:

  1. Reduce success of athletic team by losing possible "impact" player.
  2. Possible legal ramifications due invasion of privacy or false accusations since it is difficult to prove use of the drug.
  3. Test implementation can be financially costly.
Related Questions:

Is policy effective? This policy can be effective but is left so wide open. The school district does not discuss how this policy will be enforced. The statement of this policy could be viewed as having political motives to fulfill PIAA regulations.

Is the policy efficient? In dealing with such a policy it becomes difficult to be efficient. There is really no way to judge the benefits of this policy aside from knowing that one is removing illegal drugs from an athletic program and possibly removing a dangerous, out of control person as steroids often makes one yet it is rather easy to view the costs.

Is the policy equitable? There appears to be more costs involved with this policy then the possible benefits as this policy is very difficult to enforce. This is typical of a policy that is developed by a governing body such as the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association.

Is participation in policy formulation and implementation reasonably equitable? Once again, being a policy that fills a mandate by a governing body and was developed by this governing body, implementation of this policy requires much more time and energy then the formulation of the policy and as stated in the previous question, the costs of this policy are greater then the benefits.

Who has the responsibility for what actions? As previously stated, District Administrators, Principals, Teachers, Disciplinarians, Athletic Directors and Coaches enforce this policy.

What motivators are provided for the actors to implement policy? As educators, the enforcers are responsible to provide a safe and fair place of education and to also instill moral values in students. By removing a player from a scholastic team that is using illegal steroids, one is making the field a safer and more fair place to compete as well as setting an example for what is right and legal.