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Reminder: The Revised School Code Prohibits the Use of Performance Enhancing Substances
As a new school year approaches and students begin participating in interscholastic athletics, it is important to emphasize that the Revised School Code prohibits the use of performance-enhancing substances by student-athletes and provides certain steps that school officials must take to discourage student athletes from using them.
Since 2006, Section 1318 of the Revised School Code has required school districts to “ensure that its policies concerning a pupil’s eligibility for participation in interscholastic athletics include use of a performance-enhancing substance by the pupil as a violation that will affect a pupil’s eligibility. . . ” A list of performance-enhancing substances has been developed by the Department of Community Health pursuant to Section 1318, which can be accessed on our website atwww.thrunlaw.com/links. The list is based on the performance-enhancing substances list created by the NCAA in NCAA Bylaw 220.127.116.11. A school district’s policies may elaborate further on a pupil’s eligibility for participation in interscholastic athletics if it complies with Section 1318.
Section 1317 of the Revised School Code also prohibits school employees or volunteers from endorsing or supplying performance-enhancing substances to students. Additionally, Michigan law requires “athletic service providers” (e.g., schools that operate athletic facilities) to conspicuously post a notice about anabolic steroids in each locker room operated by the school. This notice can be obtained from the Department of Community Health.
Accordingly, school officials should ensure that: (1) board policy conditions student eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics on not using performance-enhancing substances; (2) staff members are aware of the lists of performance-enhancing substances published by the NCAA and Department of Community Health; (3) the appropriate notice regarding the use and possession of anabolic steroids is posted in all locker rooms; and (4) employees and volunteers are notified that it is unlawful to supply or endorse performance-enhancing substances to student-athletes.
To prevent any confusion among staff and student athletes, school officials should consider specifically including the relevant board policy related to prohibiting the use of performance-enhancing substances by student-athletes in the school’s student handbook and athletic code of conduct.