Drug Testing of Student Athletes
I. PERSONS TO BE TESTED:Any student who desires to participate in intercollegiate athletics at any institution of the Alabama Community College System will be required to submit to urinalysis drug testing.
II. TYPES OF TESTS TO BE PERFORMED
A. An initial drug test will be required prior to eligibility determination for any scholarship and/or participation in intercollegiate athletics. A student will be required to authorize a drug test result to be provided to the Athletic Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative. The student’s specimen must have been collected and tested within the two (2) week period prior to eligibility determination. The College will be responsible for the initial testing of the student.
B. After the initial drug test has been provided, further testing of the student athlete will be conducted throughout the year at regular and random intervals, both announced and unannounced, utilizing an on site testing device. The on-site testing device shall be used only for subsequent testing and not for the initial test coordinated by the student. The Athletic Director, Head Coach, or other designated college representative may request a test at any time. Random individual and/or random team testing will be done. For random testing, all student athletes will be included in a pool of names from which they may be selected by a computerized method of random selection. This selection shall be done by each college by utilizing random number selection computer software. Each college shall be responsible for maintaining an updated listing of student athletes to provide an accurate random selection pool.
III. DRUGS TO BE TESTED
IV. CONSENT TO DRUG TESTING
A. Each student is required to sign a statement certifying that he or she has received a copy of the drug testing policy and guidelines and consents to provide urine specimen(s) for the purpose of analysis. If the student athlete is under eighteen (18) years of age, the student athlete’s parent or legal guardian must sign the drug testing consent form in addition to the student athlete. The Athletic Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative shall maintain the original of the signed consent form and may provide a copy of the consent form to the student athlete upon request.
B. Student athletes have the right to refuse to consent to drug testing under this program; however, students athletes who decline participation in the program will not be permitted to participate in intercollegiate athletics.
C. Student athletes may be excused from drug testing only under the most extreme circumstances (e.g., illness, family emergency). The student athlete is responsible for providing written verification for such absences. Approval of averifiable absence is the responsibility of the Athletic Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative.
V. SPECIMEN COLLECTION
A. A copy of the guidelines must be provided to each collection site person, prior to the collection of the specimen, to ensure that all specimens are collected and tested within these requirements. A specimen collection should not be initiated until the collection site has been made aware of the requirements of this program. Collection site personnel should contact the Athletic Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative to obtain a copy of these guidelines before any specimen collection is performed.
- The collection site person shall be a licensed medical professional or technician who has been trained for collection in accordance with chain of custody and control procedures – not a coach, Athletic Director, or any other College employee.
- Specimen collection procedures shall provide for the designated collection site to be secured in accordance with the chain of custody and control procedures. Security during collection may be maintained by effective restriction of access to the collection materials and specimens.
- When the student athlete arrives at the collection site, the collection site person shall ensure that the student athlete is positively identified as the individual selected for testing. This identification can be done through the presentation of photo identification or by an authorized college representative. If the student athlete’s identity cannot be established, the collection site person shall not proceed with the collection until such identification can be made.
- The student shall remove any unnecessary outer garments such as a coat or jacket. The collection site person shall ensure that all personal belongings such as bags, backpacks, purses, etc. remain with the outer garments. Through a visual check, the collection site person will make an effort to ensure that no concealed containers are on the student athlete’s person.
- The student athlete may provide his/her specimen in the privacy of a stall or otherwise partitioned area that allows for individual privacy, unless there is reason to believe that a particular individual may alter or substitute the specimen to be provided. If direct observation is required, the collection site person or designated College representative, shall review and concur in advance with any decision by a collection site person to obtain a specimen under direct observation by a same gender collection site person.
- If the student athlete is unable to provide a specimen during the collection process, the individual may leave the collection site and return at a later time to begin the process again. The designated College representative should be notified by the collection site person that the student athlete was not able to provide a specimen at that time. The Athletics Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative is responsible for ensuring that the student athlete returns to the collection site within the same day or, if not possible, no later than the following day.
- Once the specimen has been collected, the student athlete and the collection site person shall keep the specimen in view at all times prior to its being sealed and labeled. The collection site person and the student athlete will complete the necessary information on the custody and control form. The student athlete will sign the custody and control form certifying that the specimen identified as having been collected from him or her is in fact the specimen he or she provided. The specimen and the chain of custody and control form shall then be sealed in a plastic bag and labeled in the presence of the student athlete. The student athlete’s participation in the specimen collection process is complete.
VI. ON SITE TESTING TO BE USED
A. Regular and random testing by the College shall be performed by utilizing an on site testing device. The collection site person performing the test shall check the specimen containers to ensure that the seals have not been broken and that all identifying numbers of the specimen containers match the information on the chain of custody and control form.
B. Using only the primary specimen, the individual performing the test shall transfer the urine onto the testing device. A negative test result shall be recorded on the chain of custody and control form and in a test results log book. The log book shall contain the student athlete’s identification number, date of test, and test result. The testing device that was used shall be maintained with the completed chain of custody and control form for each student athlete. Positive test results shall be recorded on the chain of custody and control form and in the test results log book. A positive test shall require that the specimen be sent to a certified laboratory for confirmatory testing. The split sample which has not been tested shall be the specimen sent to the laboratory.
VII. DRUG TESTING LABORATORY
A. Laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), must be used to perform confirmatory urine drug testing analysis.
B. These laboratories have met the minimum criteria established in the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Work-place Drug Testing Programs.
VIII. MEDICAL REVIEW OF POSITIVE DRUG TEST RESULTS
A. All specimens identified as positive on the initial test shall be confirmed by the testing laboratory.
B. A Medical Review Officer (MRO), who shall be a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders, shall review and interpret positive test results obtained from the testing laboratory. The MRO shall:
- Examine alternate medical explanations for any positive test results. This action may include conducting a medical interview and review of the student athlete’s medical history, or review of any other relevant bio-medical factors.
- Review all medical records made available by the tested student athlete when a confirmed positive test could have resulted from legally prescribed medication. Prior to making a final decision on the results of the confirmed positive test, the MRO shall give the student athlete an opportunity to discuss the result. The MRO shall contact the student athlete directly to discuss the results of the test or if unsuccessful in contacting the student athlete directly, the MRO shall contact the designated College representative who shall have the student athlete contact the MRO as soon as possible.
IX. REPORTING OF DRUG TEST RESULTS
A. Reporting of drug test results shall be made to the Athletics Director, Head Coach or other designated College representative. Test results will not be released to any individual who has not been authorized to receive such results.
B. A written notification of the test results shall be provided to the Athletics Director, Head Coach, or other desig-nated College representative. The test result shall not be received from any student or any person who is not a designated representative of the service provider. Students shall not be allowed to hand deliver any test results to College representatives. Drug test results can be received by U.S. Mail, if sent directly from the service provider. The envelope should be marked “CONFIDENTIAL” and should not be opened by any person not authorized by the College to receive such results.
C. Any institution of the Alabama Community College System may refuse to accept any test result that does not meet the requirements of the policy and guidelines.
D. When drug test results are received by the Athletics Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative, these records shall be maintained in a confidential manner in a secured file with limited access. Individual records shall not be released to any person, other than the student athlete, without first obtaining a specific written authorization from the student athlete.
X. PENALTIES FOR A CONFIRMED POSITIVE DRUG TEST OR REFUSAL TO BE TESTED
A. First Positive Test:
- Suspension from athletic competition for a minimum two (2) week period. The student athlete will be required to participate in a substance abuse program during this suspension period. A negative follow-up drug test will be required before the student athlete is permitted to return to participation in the athletic program. Student athletes who are suspended for a positive drug test and successfully complete a substance abuse program will be required to submit to follow-up drug testing for up to twelve (12) months while in the athletic program. A refusal to participate in a substance abuse program and/or follow-up drug testing will require immediate suspension from the athletic program. If a student athlete does not comply with this requirement within two (2) weeks, permanent suspension from athletic competition and forfeiture of any athletic scholarship will be required.
- A referral to a substance abuse program shall be made by the Athletics Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative. The length of the substance abuse program will be determined by the program counselor. The designated College representative should be informed of the expected completion date of the program and whether or not the student athlete successfully completes the program. The student athlete will be responsible for any costs associated with the counseling and treatment in the substance abuse program. Any referrals to the substance abuse program shall be confidential.
B. Second Positive Test: Permanent suspension from athletic competition and forfeiture of any athletic scholarship.
C. Refusal To Be Tested: A student athlete who refuses to be tested for drugs, after initially consenting to be tested, shall be considered to have made a decision not to participate in the athletic program. A refusal to cooperate in testing will result in suspension from the athletic program and forfeiture of any athletic scholarship. The designated College representative shall be notified of any refusal to be tested. D. Failure To Appear: A student athlete who fails to appear for drug testing will be given an opportunity to explain the failure to appear. If the student athlete agrees to be tested, another collection will be scheduled. If the student athlete fails to appear for the second time, the failure to appear shall be treated as if a positive test result had occurred. The designated College representative shall be notified of any failure to appear.
XI. EDUCATION PROGRAM
A. A drug use and abuse education program shall be provided to all student athletes at the beginning of the fall term and at other times as deemed necessary by the Athletics Director, Head Coach, or other designated College representative. Attendance is mandatory for all student athletes. An attendance roster shall be maintained for each session of this program and shall include the signatures of each student athlete and the date of attendance. This program should include, at a minimum, the following:
- Discussion of drug testing policy for student athletes; and,
- Presentation by a qualified substance abuse counselor or an individual with relative qualifications for such presentations; and,
- Distribution of education materials concerning the use and abuse of illegal drugs.
B. In General: Nothing in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Higher Education Act of 1965 shall be construed to prohibit an institution of higher education from disclosing to a parent or legal guardian of a student information regarding any violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, regardless of whether that information is contained in the student’s education records, if –
- the student is under the age of 21; and,
- the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation with respect to such use or possession.
C. Alcohol/Controlled Substance Disclosure Policy: Nothing in the above paragraph shall be construed to supersede any provision of State Law that prohibits an institution of higher education from making the disclosure.