High school athletes tested for drugs "unworkable"

By Simon Plumb, Anna Whyte

Add a comment

Secondary school students and age-grade sport could be tested for drugs, according to a parliamentary document concerned about drugs used in amateur sports, with Tauranga principals questioning the possible move.

The report showed the concerns of officials of the increase in the use of sports supplements by young athletes, possibly with banned ingredients.

Otumoetai College principal Dave Randell said he thought drug testing would breach the privacy of pupils.

"I can't see how they can do it," he said.

Tauranga Boys' College principal Robert Mangan said he was not aware of students taking any performance enhancing drugs or supplements with banned substances, and was not aware of it as a problem.

"I think for secondary school, it is unworkable, just the scale of complexity, and the legal and human rights aspect."

"They're barriers I wouldn't like to deal with as a principal."

Principal of Tuapo Nui a tia College and chairperson of the Bay of Plenty Principals Sports Management Group, Peter Moyle, said they would be naive to think drug taking in secondary and age-grade sports was not happening in isolated instances, or that it would not be an issue in the future.

"Sport Bay of Plenty will be taking its lead from the New Zealand Secondary School Sports Council in terms of education to prevent the use of performance enhancing drugs and the possibility of testing in the future."

Otumoetai College students and athletes spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times about their thoughts on secondary school and age-grade drug testing.

Hockey and volleyball player Grace Burnett, 17, said she did not see the point.

"I don't think it's necessary at a school level. Wouldn't you feel guilty though, you'd feel like you wouldn't actually win the tournament on their own merit?"

Footballer Michaela Cleary, 17, said she had never thought about drug testing until the recent Russian doping scandal.

"If it was for a final I could definitely understand that but you'd feel weird about it because it's never really happened."

Hockey and volleyball player Jack Dey, 17, went to the Australian junior volleyball champs, this year where athletes were told they could be submitted to random drug testing, and had heard of it happening to another student at Otumoetai College.

"A friend of mine just went to the Asian games for volleyball (NZ junior mens) and their team got randomly drug tested. He said it was pretty weird the whole experience," Jack said.

Rugby player Joel Wisnewski, 17, said there was a time and a place for drug testing.

"I could understand if you got tested for a final, a big game, but if it is just a normal school game I think that's a bit over the top," he said.

He agreed to drug testing for under 18s at national and international level, but thought some people under 18 could be offended by having to be tested.

- Bay of Plenty Times

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf03 at 23 Jan 2017 12:22:23 Processing Time: 602ms