High school athletics and performance enhancing drugs

Reported by: Erik Avanier
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Updated: 8/06 6:50 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEFF) -   The recent arrest of a man who admitted to selling illegal performing enhancing drugs or PED's to professional athletes is now putting a spotlight on high school athletics.

According to federal prosecutors, when Anthony Bosh and 6 other defendants admitted to selling performance enhancing drugs to professional athletes, they also admitted South Florida high school athletes were also their customers.

"These defendants provided easy access to these dangerous concoctions of steroids and human growth hormones to impressionable high school kids on the promise they would play better, said Prosecutor Wilfred Ferrer.

The though of that happening in Florida has raised questions about PED use in Tennessee.

According to officials at the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, there's always a chance that high school athletes will get their hands on performance enhancing drugs.

"We're not so naive that we don't realize that on the national level, high school athletes are susceptible to being targeted by individuals who do these types of things," said TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress.

TSSAA doesn't require PED testing. That decision is left up to individual school districts. Hamilton County elects not to test it's student athletes.

"You get into a lot of legalities when you get into that form of testing of young people, especially when they're playing for recreational purposes," said Football Coach Ted Gate.

"That would be an expense task and that would be very tough. Those kind of test are very tough on 1-AA football programs in college," said Football Coach Mac Bryan.

TSSAA actively teaches coaches how to spot PED use.

"We're constantly trying to make coaches and administrators in our schools aware that these things are happening and that they continue to happen," Childress said.

So far, there have been no reported cases of P-E-D use in Hamilton County school athletics.
School officials tell WDEF that they don't think it's a problem in Hamilton County. They also say High School coaches are well trained to spot the use of drugs.

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