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Updated 10:00 AM August 9, 2004



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Martin tells Congress steroid-testing standards are needed

Athletic Director Bill Martin told a U.S. Senate caucus July 13 that an agreed-upon standard among various sports organizations is needed to help deal with the problem of steroid use by adolescent and amateur athletes.

Testifying at a hearing of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, Martin said the use of steroids and steroid pre-cursors is "one of the most serious problems we face" in athletics, and he urged Congress to make these compounds less available.

"I believe the establishment of uniform rules and testing procedures across sports and across amateur and professional leagues would go a long way toward providing consistent messages to athletes and would greatly simplify enforcement," Martin told the panel.

Martin said at U-M, athletes are given a lot of education about steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, and they are urged not to use them. If student-athletes do use them and are caught, Martin said, the Athletic Department moves swiftly to enforce NCAA and U-M penalties, and increases the frequency of testing for those offenders.

"We view this as part of an overall substance education program focused not just on steroids and dietary supplements, but also on alcohol and other drugs," Martin said.

Martin pointed to NCAA support for legislation in the Senate that would make many of these drugs controlled substances, which could only be dispensed with a prescription under medical supervision. Similar legislation already has passed the U.S. House of Representatives.

Martin recently stepped down after 16 months as acting president of the United States Olympic Committee.

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