Drug Testing

Drug Testing Guiding Principles

The athletics department has a department-wide, written policy that complies with NCAA drug testing administrative duties and assures that compliance forms are explained and signed. Student-athletes agree to NCAA drug testing during championship events and to NCAA year-round testing as approved by their division.  Student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and athletic training students/volunteers agree not to use banned drugs and to submit to institutional testing as outlined in campus policy and consistent with divisional testing frequency. Written drug testing procedures specify the process for gaining informed consent and document protocols for safeguarding confidentiality, certifying chain of custody, maintaining integrity of the sample, confirming reliable laboratory procedures, ensuring accuracy of the report, listing sanctions associated with positive tests, and outlining the appeals process.  Policies and sanctions are uniform for all sports and the athletics department annually tabulates and reviews testing data to ensure equitable policy application across teams and individuals.

Evidence-Based Strategies to Address Drug Testing

The College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (CollegeAIM) was created by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to help schools select evidence-based programs for substance misuse prevention. Interventions listed below are rated by higher, moderate or lower effectiveness or there is mixed evidence/too few studies to rate effectiveness. The NIAAA Task Force on College Drinking Report provides additional guidance on “promising strategies that need additional research.” As you develop your action plan, first consider the items below. 

    Promising strategy that needs additional research:

    • Increasing publicity/enforcement of underage drinking laws [and NCAA banned drugs] and eliminating "mixed messages."


    NCAA Drug Testing Program - Sport Science Institute

    Support for Drug Policy Development & Program Reviews - Drug Free Sport

    Programs developed by past APPLE attendees:

    Division I

    Student Athlete Handbook - University at Buffalo (page 28)

    • The policy outlines tests conducted by the NCAA and the University, including the possibility of testing during the summer. Drug concentration level cut-offs are provided as well as the risks of supplements.

    Drug Policy - High Point University

    • The policy provides a detailed rationale for the testing policy, specific sanctions for positive testing results and a description of the appeal process.

    Drug Education and Testing Program - University of California, Los Angeles

    • A comprehensive policy that provides detailed descriptions of the testing process and separate sanctions for performance enhancing drugs and street drugs.

    Division II

    Drug Program - Limestone College

    • The policy addresses alcohol and other drug testing purpose, collection procedures, sanctions and notification.

    Substance Abuse Policy - Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    • This is a very detailed policy that includes the policy purpose, testing process, departmental and university sanctions for alcohol and other drug policy violations, and a self-referral process for those with substance use disorders.

    Division III

    Program information coming soon!