Report shows steroid use has dramatically decreased

July 6, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) has released a five-year report that indicates positive drug tests for steroids in intercollegiate athletics has dramatically decreased, though the total number of student-athletes tested for steroids has increased.

"These results are really encouraging and are the direct result of an on-going partnership between the NCAA and member institutions to continue to strengthen drug testing efforts by providing education and awareness programs," said Jerry Koloskie, incoming chair of the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and senior associate athletics director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "The education and awareness programs warn student-athletes of the potential negative consequences of using performance enhancing drugs and nutritional supplements that may be contaminated," Koloskie said.

In year-round testing, 49 student-athletes tested positive for steroids in 2004-05 as compared to 90 student-athletes testing positive for steroids in 1998-99 and 92 positive tests in 1999-2000. An all-time low of 46 student-athletes tested positive for steroid use in the 2003-04 year-round testing program, in which 8,980 student-athletes were tested. A total of 10,094 student-athletes were tested for steroids in the 2004-05 year-round testing program.

In postseason drug testing, only two student-athletes tested positive for steroids in 2004-05. An all-time high of eight tested positive for steroids in 1996-97, while none tested positive for steroids in the postseason in 2003-04. A total of 1,516 student-athletes were tested for steroids in the 2004-05 championship testing program.

The report showed that positive results for stimulants have increased since 2001-02. Fourteen student-athletes tested positive for stimulants in the postseason drug testing program in 2004-05, as compared to 13 positives in 2003-04 and 10 positives in 2002-03 in the postseason. However, the study does not indicate how many student-athletes are taking prescribed medication for legitimate medical concerns, which may have an influence on the increase of stimulant positives.

The 2004-05 season also marked the first time that a student-athlete has tested positive for the stimulant ephedrine as part of the year-round testing program. The NCAA began testing for ephedrine in the year-round program in 2002 following the death of several athletes in which ephedra was implicated. In 2004, ephedra was removed from over-the-counter supplement products by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

The report indicated a rise in the number of positive results for street drugs in the 2004-05 postseason testing program. This includes two positive results for cocaine, one of which also tested positive for THC. A total of 17 student-athletes tested positive for street drugs in 2004-05 as compared to only 10 testing positive in 2003-04.

In the year-round testing program, the 2004-05 data includes "failure to show" numbers for the first time. A total of 17 student-athletes failed to show for drug testing in the year-round testing program. A failure to show represents student-athletes who were selected for drug testing and failed to show for the drug test. Under NCAA protocol, student-athletes who fail to show for a drug test are declared ineligible and receive a one-year sanction from competition. The CSMAS plans to monitor "failure to show" numbers in future reports.

The NCAA conducts postseason testing in all divisions, all sports, and year-round drug testing of all its student-athletes in Divisions I and II. The Association also began random summer drug testing for select sports in 2006. In addition to the NCAA drug testing program, many NCAA colleges and universities and athletics conferences also conduct their own drug testing programs. The NCAA national office also provides educational materials to its member colleges and universities to warn of the hazards of substance abuse. More information about NCAA drug testing can be found at


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