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IHSA Announces Drug Testing Plan for Fall '09 Sports
The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) announced that it will continue its Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing Program during the fall of 2009.

The IHSA has posted a brief video on the IHSA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee homepage addressing the current status of testing for the fall, as well as the ramifications of future testing under House Bill 272.

The IHSA became the fourth overall and third active state association to provide performance-enhancing drug testing a year ago, when the Association combined to test just under 700 students from all IHSA sports.

Last January, House Bill 272 was filed by Representative Jack D. Franks. The Bill called for more extensive performance-enhancing drug testing by the IHSA, including the testing of 1,000 students per year, testing of at least one student from 25 percent of the IHSA's membership schools and random testing during the school year. The Bill, which was signed into law on August 7th, also provides the IHSA with state funding to finance the program in the future. The Illinois Department of Public Health will oversee the structure and implementation of the new testing program.

The IHSA has yet to receive a definitive timeline or structure from the Illinois Department of Public Health and will subsequently implement its own testing for the fall, with the expectation that the new program will be in place by early 2010 in time to provide testing for the IHSA's winter and spring sports.

"The first year of the performance-enhancing drug testing program was well received by student-athletes, coaches and administrators," said IHSA Assistant Executive Director Kurt Gibson. "We believe the new law will be extremely beneficial in creating a more extensive program. Based on our current timeline, it appeared the state testing would not be in place for the fall and we felt that it was prudent to implement our own testing for the time being."

The IHSA's Fall 2009 Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing Program will be structured in the same manner that it was a year ago.

* A consent form must be signed by every student and their parent/guardian to be eligible for State Series participation

*Fall testing will occur at select IHSA State Series tournaments

*Testing will be conducted by the National Center for Drug Free Sport

*Member schools will receive notification of their testing prior to the event

*Member schools will be notified of test results after the IHSA receives results from Drug Free Sport

"Testing this fall was important from a continuity standpoint for our member schools and, most importantly, to continue to offer a deterrent for student-athletes in the state from using performance-enhancing drugs," added Gibson.

(Illinois High School Association)
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