December 14, 2017 | Number of The Day
Number of NJ high school athletes that tested positive for banned substances in 2016-2017

A single high-school student-athlete tested positive for any of 80 banned substances in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association’s 2016-2017 steroid-testing program. In all, 506 student-athletes were tested, 356 boys and 146 girls, drawn from teams that qualified for state tournaments.

The boys who were tested were in football (194 tests), baseball (60), basketball (30), winter track (12), soccer (24), and lacrosse (36 tests). The girls were in softball (30), basketball (24), field hockey (24), swimming (30), soccer (24), winter track (12), and spring track (2).

“It’s terrific that only one student tested positive this year, but we really need the means of testing more broadly to better assess the level of substance abuse. In particular, we’re looking to test for opioids, given the current epidemic,” Steve Timko, NJSIAA’s executive director, said. It costs about $200 to conduct each test (which is done by urinalysis).

As part of its testing program, the NJSIAA gives student-athletes, parents, and coaches access to a website that identifies whether athletic supplements contain ingredients not approved by the association.