Our View: Higher standards

DKS Editors

Testing student athletes for drugs has long been a controversial issue of privacy and fairness.

Critics have considered the process unfair, asking why all students aren’t monitored in the same way.

One opinion writer for my.hsj.org wrote an article criticizing high schools for singling out athletes for drug tests.

“Athletes are no more likely to use the kind of drugs being tested for than any other student, and it is therefore unfair to only drug test athletes,” she wrote.

Well, that may be true, but it’s not really relevant.

Sports in high schools and colleges are highly competitive, requiring students who are motivated by ambition, not drugs.

These athletes have to travel from school to school, representing their respective university or college at each event. That fact alone should give schools the right to issue these tests.


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But drug testing is about more than reputation; it’s about creating balanced rivalry.

Athletes are held to a higher standard based on their performance. That standard requires someone who is sober and who is performing at his or her best naturally; that’s what makes it a fair game.

Each student activity requires a different kind of examination to ensure that standard is set high. As journalists, the staff at the Daily Kent Stater is constantly monitored for bias and plagiarism — two elements that would be considered dishonest if they made their way in the paper.

That’s how we are tested.

And it’s not too much to ask that our athletes stay clean.

Trent Stratton, Kent State’s sports medicine director, wrote in an email to a Stater reporter that he wanted to avoid any number of positive results (42 since 2004).

“To me, any number of positives is a problem,” he wrote.

We agree.

The above editorial is a consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater Editorial board.