A New Jersey state Assembly committee approved a bill that would expand random testing of high school athletes for steroids and performance enhancing drugs yesterday.
Currently, the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association randomly tests high school athletes that are competing in championship tournaments. The bill would appropriate $45 thousand from the state Department of Education to make random testing a year-round practice, as well as require anti-steroid education initiatives.
According to North Jersey News, if the bill were passed into law coaches would be required to incorporate anti-steroid education into their training program, and schools would need to display steroid information posters in locker rooms and gyms.
The cost to administer the tests runs about $500 per student. Currently, the NJSIAA spends about $100 thousand a year testing 200 randomly selected students, with half of that funding coming from the association and the other half from a federal grant.
Similar measures have made it to Governor Chris Christie’s office before, but have been vetoed due to concerns about the legislature making a supplemental appropriation outside the normal budget cycle. Supporters of the bill are hopeful that the money in this bill could be included in the annual budget to assuage those concerns.