MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - Ten Menomonie High School football players will not be suiting up for the Mustangs first three games this fall. The games include August 24th at Merrill, August 31st at Chippewa Falls and September 7th at home against Eau Claire Memorial.
WEAU 13 Sports Director Bob Gallaher has confirmed that they've been suspended for drinking an energy drink called C4 Extreme that contains a substance called Synephrine. That substance is banned by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.
Menomonie High School Athletic Director Bart Boettcher says the ten unnamed athletes did not know it contained the banned substance. They say they purchased the drinks at an Eau Claire GNC health store.
In a letter sent to Menomonie High School football parents, Head Coach Joe LaBuda says the WIAA received an anonymous tip that several student-athletes were bragging about using C4 Extreme on social media websites. The WIAA then contacted LaBuda and Boettcher. The letter goes on to say that the students were questioned and "they all stepped forward and were accountable for their actions." It says none of the student-athletes were aware that Synephrine is on the WIAA's banned substance list, but that a label on C4 Extreme says it shouldn't be consumed by anyone under 18. None of the student-athletes were 18.
WIAA rules indicate that, if a player admits to using a banned substance, they're suspended automatically for three games.
WIAA Deputy Director Wade Labecki says performance-enhancing substances can provide a competitive edge, and "you can see it at every level; pro, NCAA, or at the high school level."
"Performance-enhancing substances are banned for that purpose," he said. "The other reason is when you have young adolescents, in developing their bodies, can cause problems...can cause kidney issues, and can even lead to death."
You can see a list of the WIAA's banned substance list by clicking on the link below.