The University of Oregon announced Wednesday that even though the state of Oregon prohibits random drug testing, they would begin randomly drug testing their student athletes even if there is no suspicion of drug use present. Oregon State University followed the University of Oregon’s lead by making their own random drug testing for student athletes announcement Wednesday night.
According to Oregon State director of sports medicine, Doug Aukerman, drug abuse is a major problem almost everywhere in the United States. For this reason, he has implemented random drug testing for Oregon State’s student athletes.
Even though there is a lot of talk concerning the illegal use of marijuana, Aukerman believes it is important to look beyond recreational drug use. “I know a lot of the media attention is focused on marijuana, but that’s only part of it. There are increasing trends in drug use in athletes and adolescents in general. Most recently, within the past year, illegal use of prescription pain medicine and accidents related to that actually surpassed car accidents as a cause for death,” Aukerman said.
Oregon State University football coach Mike Riley supports random drug testing for players on his team. He believes strongly that the number one priority is to help student athletes should the school discover a positive drug test. Obviously, for Coach Riley, the game of football is not as important as a student athlete’s life.