Drug testing taken seriously at Simpson

by Megan Quick & Cait Conner

A simple signature by student athletes every year indicates their consent and awareness to an important and controversial issue among college athletics – drug testing.

Student athletes are required to sign an eligibility form before being allowed to participate in their sport. This form includes the rules and process of drug testing at Simpson.

“Under the principle of fair play and good sportsmanship, PED [performance enhancing drugs] give people an unfair advantage in competition and should not be allowed,” Director of Athletics John Sirianni said.

Drug testing in the NCAA dates back to 1986 when testing at championship events began, according to ncaa.org. Today, 90 percent of Division I, 65 percent of Division II and 21 percent of Division III schools conduct their own drug-testing programs in addition to the NCAA’s.  

Safety is the most important reason for drug testing, according to Sirianni.

“Drug testing and usage rules are extremely important for student athletes’ safety and well being,” Sirianni said. “PED and illegal street drugs are very dangerous and can have long lasting negative effects on student athletes. I believe it is our responsibility to do everything we can to prevent injury to students.”

Athletes signing the eligibility forms are agreeing to NCAA drug testing as well as drug tests done by Simpson. Failure to sign this form results in ineligibility.

“If a student athlete refuses to take a drug test after signing all NCAA and Simpson College eligibility forms, they are considered to have tested positive,” Sirianni said.

The first positive result means one calendar year of no participation; the second positive one is no further participation, according to Simpson’s student-athlete handbook.

A waiver is also signed by participants allowing for any positive results to be sent on to parent(s) or guardian(s). Results are only to be reviewed by certain people and all records are kept in a confidential location.

Simpson also partakes in drug testing caused by reasonable suspicion, after being reviewed by the Simpson Athletic Drug Abuse Committee [SADAC], as well as random sampling.

Senior Mike Kuhn has been through two drug tests, one of them being a random test that was given to 12 random players on the football team.

When random samples are conducted, the players are notified the night before by an athletic trainer. The athlete is then required to be at the designated place. Being more than 30 minutes late is a penalty of a positive test result.

Despite the process being uncomfortable, Kuhn didn’t have an issue with being randomly tested and understands the importance of drug testing.

“It’s important to athletics because it creates a fair playing field,” Kuhn said. “Then there’s not people out there using supplements to enhance their play.”

Simpson’s reasoning for drug testing is to maintain fair competition, lower substance abuse, promote and protect the integrity and reputation of student athletes, for appropriate moral and ethical behavior and to ensure health.

More detailed information can be found online under the Simpson student-athlete handbook.