Otterbein University's athletic department implemented a new drug policy for the 2018 athletic season. The policy takes into practice NCAA testing standards.

According to new policy rules, a random selection of student-athletes will go through a screening each month. After being notified by a university athletic trainer, students have up to two days to complete the drug screens.

Students who test positive for a banned substance will be immediately suspended from practices and competitions for 10 percent of the season. These suspensions will last until the student can produce a negative drug test and agrees to counseling and educational sessions.

“We decided it was time to begin mirroring the NCAA drug-testing process that has been in place for a number of years now,” said Assistant Director of Athletics Connie Richardson. “The focus is to ensure continuous safety of our student-athletes and to maintain a process that helps promote their health and wellness.”

          

The policy includes an extensive list of substances being tested for. Some of the items include alcohol, diuretics, stimulants and anti-estrogens.

Student-athletes are also required to sign a NCAA participation form and an Otterbein consent form before they can begin competing. 

Reactions to the new drug testing policy have been positive, with multiple student-athletes voicing their opinions of the policy changes. 

          

Justin McCurdy, a senior track and field athlete, said, “I honestly think it’s a good thing. Why? Because, right now we could take absolutely anything and there’s nothing holding us accountable to NCAA standards.” 

Daniel Bishoff, a senior tennis player, said this new policy is better for the health of student athletes. 

“I think they’re in place to make sure our athletes are in good condition and not risking everything they worked hard for," said Bishoff. "You’re really jeopardizing your success by engaging in some specific drugs that aren’t allowed."