December 8, 2023

The market of banned substances is a growing industry that abrogates the spirit of fair play.

Drug-testing in the National Collegiate Athletic Association began in 1986, and since then has expanded to a year-round program in Division I and II colleges.

At the collegiate level, athletes are pressured to perform to the best of their abilities, which might lead to the decision of taking illegal substances.

With the help of drugs, student-athletes hope to have an outstanding performance and keep up with all the expectations.

The desire to be one of the best makes them put the thought of fair-play behind, neglecting the risk of getting caught.

“(Student-athletes) use illegal substances either from habit (previous abuse), peer pressure, need to attempt to create a competitive advantage or recreational usage,” said Michael Scarano, associate director of athletics at California Baptist University.

To prevent drug-related violations, CBU and the NCAA require student-athletes to participate in several random drug-tests that their institutions assign regularly.

The selected athletes are notified by an athletic administrator no sooner than 48 hours prior to the date of the test. Athletes are selected randomly for the testing by either CBU or the NCAA and must complete the test the following day or else the process is treated as positive.

“I got a call on a Monday from Michael Scarano that I had been randomly selected to take the drug test,” said Leticia Perez, junior communication disorders and Spanish double major and goalie on the women’s water polo team. “We had to meet Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. in a room in back of the softball court with about 20 other athletes to take the test.”

A positive test leads to ineligibility of the student-athlete for one year or until the negative retest. Each university may have additional regulations.

The athlete is then required to go through student-athlete reinstatement and will be charged with losing a year of competition.

“We partner with Center for Drug Free Sport and they make the random selection, notify us and then provide site Drug-testing Collection Evaluators,” Scarano said. “The samples are then shipped to the lab for evaluation and CBU athletics notified within two days of the samples being evaluated.”

Student-athletes are pressured to perform well and most of them are willing to do anything to be acknowledged as top athletes, but in the pursuit to be one of the best, sportsmanship cannot be forgotten.

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