Athletes will undergo a new drug testing process in accordance with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics protocol.
The NAIA wants to ensure that the health and well-being of all student athletes is on the forefront, and drug testing is one of the ways they do this, said Kelly Perry, assistant athletic director.
This is the first year the NAIA has implemented the tests. Athletes will be tested annually at the national championship tournament for any and all drugs that can alter their athletic performance, Perry said.
“If a student tests positive, they may lose a season of competition and have to sit out for a year as well. This would be the final action if a student did not have documentation or an appeal was denied,” she said.
Junior Forward Abbey Renner said the new drug tests are both good and bad.
“It’s a bad idea because it’ll be annoying and just one more thing to do, but also a good thing because I personally don’t believe in drug use,” the women’s basketball player said.
If athletes know drug tests are coming, the tests will be preventative, Renner said.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate on the collegiate level if you’re using any kind of drug to enhance your performance,” she said.
If one of her teammates tested positive for a drug test, it would be difficult to deal with, Renner said.
“Of course I love all of my teammates and I want the best for them, but they know these drug tests are coming, and if they test positive, it’ll be by their own doing. I think they would know that they would be letting their teammates down if that happened,” she said.
Senior Midfielder Keeley Brewer said she feels similarly.
“They would be letting the team down and putting the entire season at risk. They would also be risking the reputation of the OCU athletic department, their team and themselves,” the women’s soccer player said.
Brewer was informed about the new drug test procedure in early August, and she said she doesn’t see any harm in drug testing the athletes.
Every team goes through a meeting at the beginning of the semester with Athletic Director Jim Abbott in which everyone is told the athletic department’s stance on drugs, Brewer said.
“We all sign contracts with our coaches that agree to certain rules regarding substance abuse. I don’t see a harm in testing our athletes for things we all know we shouldn’t be doing,” Brewer said.