WMU News

Trustees okay drug policy for student-athletes

Dec. 16, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Acting at its Dec. 13 meeting, the Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a recommendation that will allow the development and implementation of a policy for drug education and random drug testing of student-athletes participating on WMU intercollegiate athletic teams.

The policy will include the use of education, random testing and professional referral for treatment and rehabilitation. It is designed to promote the health, safety and welfare of student-athletes; promote fair competition; affirm compliance with applicable rules and regulations; and identify athletes who are abusing drugs or alcohol and assist them before they harm themselves or others.

"The policy is to protect the health and safety of our student-athletes," says Dave Corstange, acting athletic director. "Our hope is that through information and education, we will provide a positive decision-making process when it comes to issues of illegal drugs."

As an NCAA Division I school, WMU is currently subject to drug testing in football and men's and women's track. The NCAA program focuses on performance-enhancing drugs, while the WMU program is intended to focus on street or recreational drugs.

A policy is being developed in consultation with the National Center for Drug Free Sport, which works with the NCAA. The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is working in conjunction with the University's general counsel and vice president for legal affairs as well as the Division of Student Affairs. The offices will work together to develop, implement and amend, as appropriate, procedures and regulations to implement the policy.

Media contact: Matt Gerard, 269 387-8400, matthew.gerard@wmich.edu

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