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J Athl Train. 1994 June; 29(2): 120-122, 125.
PMCID: PMC1317776

Athletic Trainers' Attitudes Toward Drug Screening of Intercollegiate Athletes

Chad Starkey, PhD, ATC
Chad Starkey is Athletic Training Curriculum Director at Department of Physical Therapy, Northeastern University, Boston, MA 02115.
Thomas E. Abdenour, ATC
Thomas E. Abdenour is Athletic Trainer at Golden State Warriors, Oakland, CA.


Since the inception of NCAA-mandated drug screening in 1986, college athletic trainers have found themselves involved at various levels in institutional drug-screening programs. Several legal, moral, and ethical questions have been raised regarding the drug screening of college athletes, and studies have been conducted to rate athletes' attitudes toward this practice. We examined the responses of certified athletic trainers employed in college settings to ascertain their attitudes toward the drug screening of athletes in general, and, specifically, how they view their role in this process. Surveys were distributed to 500 college athletic trainers randomly selected from the membership database maintained by the National Athletic Trainers' Association, Inc (Dallas, TX). The results of this survey indicate that the majority of athletic trainers feel that their association with the drug-screening process places them in the dual role of police and counselor, but that this relationship does not negatively affect their rapport with their athletes. Opinions regarding the drug-screening process and the importance of education in deterring drug use are somewhat dependent upon the athletic trainer's involvement in the drug-screening process. Athletic trainers possess a stronger desire to serve as resource persons who organize substance abuse education programs rather than serving as administrators of the sampling process.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Schneider D, Morris J. College athletes and drug testing: attitudes and behaviors by gender and sport. J Athl Train. 1993 Summer;28(2):146–150. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association