Promoting Student-Athlete Wellness and Substance Abuse Prevention

Drug Testing

Drug Testing Guiding Principles

Student-athletes, cheerleaders, student managers and student athletic trainers are required to be educated about NCAA banned drugs and the products that may contain them. Students affiliated with the athletics department agree not to use banned drugs and to submit to institutional testing as outlined in campus policy.  Student-athletes agree to NCAA drug testing during championship events and to NCAA year-round testing as approved by their division.  The athletics department complies with NCAA drug testing administrative duties and assures that compliance forms are explained and signed. Effective testing for drug use relies on the existence and implementation of standards to ensure informed consent, confidentiality, integrity of the sample, reliable laboratory procedures, integrity of the report and specified sanctions associated with positive tests.  Policies should be uniform for all sports and the athletics department abides by its written policies. 

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. 

Mixed evidence/too few studies to rate effectiveness

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

Drug Screening Program Policies and Procedures - University of Mary Washington

  • The policy describes the testing procedures, medical exemptions, sanctions and appeal process.