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Steroid testing in Texas high schools

DECEMBER 6, 2007


For anyone who is unaware, I recently moved from Long Island, New York- where I had been living at the military academy that I was employed as a coach, to Houston, Texas. This move was initially meant to be a vacation, but while I was vacationing here, offered me full time employment. is where I started my career, and I’m thrilled to be working here.

During my first month here in Houston, a comprehensive steroid testing program for high-school athletes was being debated and implemented. There was already a similar program planned in New Jersey (where I had lived prior to living in Long Island), with $50k earmarked towards it. Here in Texas, a similar program is about to be implemented, but with a $3 million dollar budget. The following is the e-mail I sent to the people in charge (The University Interscholastic League):


I realize that my e-mail address ( may be off-putting. But let me assure you that I come to you with the best of intentions, and good will from both myself as well as Everyone from the owner of the company, to the staff and membership of the site shares your desire to keep high-school students from abusing anabolic steroids.

Also, as a recent transplant from New York/New Jersey to Houston, TX, this proposed program is very near to both my proximity and heart.

But, regarding the proposed 3 million dollar steroid testing program that is about to be implemented, I'm curious as to why this program would serve to deter athletes from steroid use.

I understand that the program is meant to stop the use of steroids in high school athletes, but statistically, other deterrent methods to prevent drug use by testing doesn't seem to work, and again (statistically), even the death penalty does not serve as a murder-deterrent.

Speaking as someone who has researched anabolic steroids for a decade, I don't know if anything in the literature would suggest that testing programs work to deter athletes. This particular program actually seems likely to have the opposite effect, as statistically, now athletes know that only 3% of them will be tested (if I'm reading the press release properly). Those odds are in favor of the athletes who will choose to cheat, and now they know it - in my humble opinion.

Again, I'm opposed to steroid use in high-school athletes (and non-athletes). I feel that this warrants repeating, at the risk of seeming redundant.

My position at, as senior editor (and author of 3 books on steroids) puts me in a unique position to provide you with any help you may need with education of students or coaches, educational material, etc...which I feel is likely a better option to testing - which will only serve (in my opinion) to catch those who have already made the wrong decision.

Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope that we can work together in some capacity to keep high-school athletes off steroids.

Senior Editor,

It’s my sincere hope that my offer is considered, and my input taken into account. I have more than just a little experience in this field, and both myself as well as would love to make a difference in keeping high-school athletes from using anabolic steroids.

If anything comes of this, positive or negative, you’ll see it in one of my upcoming Injected columns.



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