Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NCAA Championship Drug Testing

Drug-testing in the NCAA began in 1986 when testing at championship events began.  In 1990, it expanded to a year-round program in Divisions I and II and today, 90 percent of Division I, 65 percent of Division II and 21 percent of Division III schools conduct their own drug-testing programs in addition to the testing that occurs at the NCAA.  

Each year, approximately 13,500 samples are collected and analyzed through the NCAA's national drug-testing program, with the bulk of those tests focused primarily on performance-enhancing drugs (NCAA year-round testing). The NCAA tests at championship events in all three divisions at least once every five years and with some championships tested every year. During championship events, student-athletes are screened for steroids, diuretics and masking agents, stimulants, peptide hormones, anti-estrogens, beta-2 agonists, beta-blockers and street drugs. 

Recently, the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) voted to adjust the threshold for a positive marijuana test at NCAA championships to a level that is consistent with current best practices in drug testing, which will more accurately identify usage among student-athletes.

Beginning August 1, 2013, the threshold level for marijuana will change from 15 ng/mL to 5 ng/mL.  For years, Drug Free Sport has provided institutional clients the 5 ng/mL threshold in testing for marijuana.  Drug Free Sport has recognized testing at lower thresholds as a best practice for deterrence and we continue to provide our clients the best drug-prevention methods possible.

The CSMAS has also established a testing standard for synthetic cannabinoids (K2, Spice, etc.), which have not previously been tested for at NCAA championship events. The committee approved testing for those substances using the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) laboratory testing standard for level of detection.  Testing for synthetic cannabinoids will begin with the 2013 fall championships.

Drug Free Sport also has the ability to test for multiple metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids.  To learn more about testing for synthetic cannabinoids please contact Drug Free Sport at 816-474-8655.

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