Stout Announces New Drug-Testing Policy

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After the recent arrests of two UW Stout football players in a drug investigation, a University appointed Football Review Committee announced a new drug-testing policy on Thursday.

Athletic director Steve Terry says the University hopes the policy will send a strong anti-drug message to student athletes and the entire campus.

Terry says although few Division III schools have required drug testing programs, UW Stout hopes to remain at the forefront of Division III drug testing, by sending a clear message that drug use will not be tolerated. And he says that's a message the athletes and coaches are welcoming.

"This just strengthens our testing and from what I've heard from the team meetings and from the coaching staff that I've talked to and I've talked to everyone of our coaches on this issue, they're very supportive and very pleased that we're moving down this path," Terry said.

According to the new policy the entire UW Stout football team will be tested in the spring for commonly abused drugs, another 25 percent of the team will be tested at random for steroids.

Then, in the fall of 2007, the Athletic Department will randomly test student athletes in all sports for drugs and performance enhancing substances.

In addition, Athletic Department staff will have the ability to require any athlete under reasonable suspicion of drug use to take a test.

"This is an incredibly strong message, we've looked at drug policies all around and this is one of the strongest ones you're going to find frankly," Communications director Doug Mell said.

He says another important component of the policy is an education program, which will require all Stout athletes to attend mandatory presentations on the harmful effects of drug abuse once a year.

Mell says athletes who fail to meet the new requirements will face suspension or another penalty the Athletic Department deems appropriate.

He says the cost of testing in the spring will be around $5,300 dollars. He says most of the funds will come from the athletic department budget and the testing will not affect tuition costs in any way.