In my opinion there is a significant problem with the lax drug testing policies in DIII sports. In Division III athletics drug testing is not required until a team qualifies for regional play or playoffs.
Head Football Coach Keith Buckley said that drug testing in DIII athletics is costly and that coaches and the athletic department must rely on athletes to comply with the drug testing policies even though they are not tested.
Coming from a DII baseball program I was very used to drug tests happening every couple of weeks, yet when I came to Pacific I was blown away when there were not mandatory drug tests.
I was never the athlete to take steroids or do drugs because I felt it would jeopardize my ability to play but I knew and still know athletes that take drugs and do steroid or performance enhancing drugs, PEDs.
PEDs are extremely common in professional baseball and now the Major Leagues have elevated the punishments for the use of drugs.
Baseball aside, the Olympics and every other national or international sports organization has strict policies regarding drugs, PEDs and blood doping.
So why is it okay for DIII athletes, that could compete at these higher levels, to not be drug tested routinely?
Buckley’s answer is quite simple, saying that DIII schools simply do not have the money to require drug tests routinely.
I believe that is a disservice to student athletes. There needs to be more funding that goes toward drug testing and drug prevention programs.
PEDs and steroids have short term and long-term side effects. WebMD lists a few of the side effects: altered moods, severe acne, hair loss, shrinking of testicles in men, menstrual irregularities in women, liver, kidney and heart disease.
Athletes are extremely competitive and are always looking for the leg up on opponents and fellow teammates to earn the starting spot.
With that said I feel that it is imperative for DIII universities to be proactive in providing proper information about side effects and requiring more drug tests.
It is the University and Athletic Department’s job to provide a safe environment for athletes to play in and I feel that the lack of drug tests could create where athletes could feel the need to use steroids or PEDs to further their athletic ability.
Also the lack of drug testing creates a false sense of security amongst athletes. If there are no drug tests then athletes won’t worry about ever getting caught.
The morality of steroids and PEDs are highly debated throughout sports and in my opinion an athlete has a moral obligation to compete in their sport honestly.
Due to the lack of funding for drug tests DIII athletic departments are forced to trust athletes to be drug free.
Knowing there are only drug tests when playoffs start if a coach finds out that an athlete is using steroids or PEDs the coach should be morally obligated to report the athlete.
Steroid use is morally wrong and my hope is that DIII atheletes do not use to them to win a starting spot.