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IHSA Board Approves Continuation of Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing Program

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Board of Directors approved a recommendation to continue the Association’s Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing Program at its regularly scheduled Board meeting on Monday, August 8, 2011.

The IHSA became the fourth state high school association in the country to offer a performance-enhancing drug testing program when it implemented its program during the 2008-09 school year, and remains one of three current states continuing to test.

The IHSA’s testing program changed slightly after its inaugural year, as House Bill 272 was signed into law prior to the 2009-10 school year and would also govern the testing during the 2010-11 school term. The law required that certain testing benchmarks be met each year and also required an educational component be completed by all member school coaches.

During the 2010-11 school year, the IHSA tested 747 student-athletes, including four positive tests. Two of the four were cleared by the Medical Review Officer, marking the first two punishable offenses in the program’s history.

“The state law mandating the testing has sunset,” said IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman. “Regardless, the IHSA funded the program during its first year (2008-09) and was prepared to do so again. Our Board believes in this program and made it clear that they want it to continue. I commend them for that decision.”

Over the course of its three-year history, 1,758 tests have been conducted by the IHSA Performance-Enhancing Drug Testing Program.

“Some people will look at the number of positive test results and conclude that the testing is not working,” added Hickman. “But, it is important to maintain perspective. The scope of our testing was never going to be large enough to catch every student who may be using performance-enhancing drugs. The program was put into place to be a deterrent to help prevent students from using these harmful drugs and we believe it is successfully serving that purpose.”

ACTION ITEMS

  1. The Board approved a recommendation to approve changes to the Classification System. The changes streamline and simplify the Policy to reflect current practices, including changes that were announced at the June Board Meeting. This action did not change any of the enrollment cutoffs for classifications that were approved in June. Policy 18. Classification System.
  2. The Board approved a recommendation to approve changes to the Cross Country State Final Tournament as a result of the changes to the Classification Policy in June. Each class will now have five Sectionals with three Regionals feeding into each Sectional. The changes will increase the total number of state final qualifiers by 168 student-athletes.
  3. The Board denied an appeal for a student from Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda) requesting a waiver of the twelve day practice requirement for football.
  4. The Board denied an appeal by Warrensburg (W.-Latham) and Maroa (M.-Forsyth) to dissolve their Coop after one year. IHSA by-laws require Coops be fielded in two-year increments.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the August 8, 2011, agenda:

  1. The Board heard a report from Assistant Executive Director Craig Anderson on the 12th annual IHSA Officials Conference, which was held in Peoria on July 22-23.
  2. The Board heard a report from Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson on the annual all-school mailing.
  3. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the few remaining schools’ who have not yet submitted their required Financial Aid Information. They will be placed on suspension until that information is submitted.
  4. The Board heard a report that foreign exchange students placed in IHSA member schools by Central States Rotary will not be eligible for participation due to Central States Rotary not having a full listing with CSIET.
  5. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the launch of the new IHSA website.
  6. The Board a report from the Assistant Executive Director and IHSA Director of Officials Craig Anderson on the recent National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Conference.
  7. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director on the Play It Safe Concussion Symposium co-hosted by Northwestern University and the IHSA at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago on July 27. Associate Executive Director Kurt Gibson represented the IHSA on a discussion panel during the symposium.
  8. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director that Assistant Executive Director Ron McGraw has been selected to serve on the NFHS Track & Field Rules Committee.
  9. The Board heard a report from the Executive Director that Washington High School’s Lara Reem has been selected to serve on the NFHS Music Committee.

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