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Lawmakers Pass a Drug Bill

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Original Title: Lawmakers Approve High School Steroid Bill

A bill aimed at strengthening programs to decrease the use of steroids by high school athletes moved to the governor's desk Thursday after receiving final approval by the state Senate.

Senate Bill 37, introduced last year by Senator Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, would require student athletes to sign a pledge not to use anabolic steroids and other supplements banned by the NCAA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Advertisements for drugs like ephendrine alkaloids, DHEA and synephrine would also be prohibited from being shown at school-related events.

In addition, the bill would establish mandatory training programs for high school coaches to educate them about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs and dietary supplements.

A similar bill was vetoed last year by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Many high schools aren't waiting for state-imposed regulations. The California Interscholastic Federation, California's regulatory agency for high school sports, has ordered its 1,400 state campuses to adopt many of the bill's provisions by 2008.

Sheldon High School in Sacramento is one of the many California schools which began implementing increased steroid awareness programs this school year, including signed pledges from players.

"It's sad that the emphasis on performance above health has taken over our society," said Sheldon High football coach Ed Lombardi. "Our athletic administration adopted the attitude that this is good for kids, so why wait three years?"

A recent CIF study estimates 20,000 student athletes, or about 3.5 percent of those involved in competitive sports, use steroids.

(This story was provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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