Athletics Updates Policy: Zero Tolerance for Steroids

One instance of steroid use and you’re out. The University’s athletics department has established a zero-tolerance policy for anabolic agents and strengthened its overall substance abuse policy for athletes.

The changes were enacted after a nine-month review of athletics’ substance abuse policy that had been in effect since 1988.

“We will not condone any student-athlete who compromises our competitive integrity and puts his or her health in jeopardy in doing so,” said Athletics Director Dick Baddour ’66. “The message is clear: If you take this shortcut, you will not be able to play at The University of North Carolina.”

UNC also took steps to bolster its testing, education, counseling and disciplinary sanctions for the use of other banned substances. It will administer more tests than it has under the previous policy to individual athletes and entire teams on a random basis throughout the year, both in-season and out-of-season, and all tests will be observed.

When an athlete tests positive for a banned substance, the student-athlete will be placed on probation and required to sign a performance contract with the University to set a clear standard for behavior, better monitor after-care and determine whether the student-athlete will be allowed to return to practice or competition. Lack of compliance with the terms of the performance contract may result in suspension or permanent loss of athletic eligibility.

An athlete who tests positive for a banned substance any time during or after a period of probation imposed under the policy will be suspended for at least 50 percent of one season. A student-athlete who tests positive for a banned substance at any time during or after a suspension imposed under the policy will have his or her athletic eligibility terminated, pending student appeal. The athletics director is empowered to revoke eligibility upon any positive test.

The new policy, which took effect Oct. 10, emphasizes drug education and counseling for those student-athletes who test positive. The changes were recommended to Chancellor James Moeser by representatives of the Faculty Committee on Athletics, the Division of Student Affairs, Student Health Service, University counsel, the Department of Athletics and the faculty athletics representative.

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