NCAA: positive steroids tests drop 47 percent

Updated: July 6, 2006, 6:04 PM ET
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The number of U.S. college athletes testing positive for steroids dropped 47 percent from 2000 to 2005, the NCAA said Thursday.

The figures were released in a report by the NCAA's Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports, whose most recent survey included results of more than 10,000 athletes who were tested during the 2004-05 year-round program and more than 1,500 during postseason competition.

"These results are really encouraging and are the direct result of an ongoing partnership between the NCAA and member institutions to continue to strengthen drug testing efforts by providing education and awareness programs," said Jerry Koloskie, the committee chairman and athletic director at UNLV.

"The education and awareness programs warn student-athletes of the potential negative consequences of using performance enhancing drugs and nutritional supplements that may be contaminated," Koloskie said.

In the year-round program, the NCAA found 92 positive tests for steroids in 1999-2000, compared with 49 in 2004-05. Last year's figure was a slight increase from 46 in 2003-04, but it nevertheless reflected a lower percentage of positives because of a larger number of athletes tested.

In the postseason, only two tested positive for steroids in 2004-05, down from an all-time high of eight in 1996-97. There were no positives in postseason tests in 2003-04.

The committee's report also showed an increase in positive postseason results for stimulants -- from 10 in 2002-03 to 14 in 2004-05 -- but some of those may have involved prescribed medication, the NCAA said.

Among other findings for 2004-05 were 17 positive postseason results for street drugs, including one for cocaine and one for cocaine and THC, and 17 athletes who failed to show up for tests, resulting in one-year suspensions from competition.

The NCAA conducts postseason testing in all divisions and year-round testing in Divisions I and II. The association also began random summer drug testing for select sports this year.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press