Can we please declare victory in the war on steroids in Texas high schools and move on to something more productive?
Only 11 Texas high school students proved positive for steroid use among nearly 29,000 students tested in the last year, leading some lawmakers and others to suggest a downsizing of the $3-million-a-year program.
Nearly all of the students who tested positive during the yearlong program were football players or wrestlers and all were male. Those tested were randomly selected from an estimated 740,000 student athletes.
Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said the governor "would be open" to a scaled down steroid testing program.
Many Texas athletic coaches have said they believe education works better than an expensive testing and continue to question the merit of testing for steroids but not for recreational drugs.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, a main backer of the steroid-testing program approved by lawmakers two years ago, wants to continue the project but is receptive to changes.
"It is too early to determine what, if any, adjustments should be made to the program, but as with any important initiative like this, I am always looking for ways to make improvements," Dewhurst said.
Some high school coaches believe the money could be better spent.
The test results, showing a positive steroid result of only .03 percent indicates, "it's not quite the epidemic that a lot of people feared it was," said D.W. Rutledge, executive director of the Texas High School Coaches Association.
"There are a lot of concerns we have that this money could be used on, one being childhood obesity, another being recreational drugs," Rutledge said.