We always talk about how to prepare yourself for the next 4-years of your life, but what happens when you are already a student-athlete? what kind of unexpected situations are you going to live? Well, I want to share with you one of my unexpected experiences; the drug test, I will provide the student-athlete point of view, and don’t worry, I passed!
Jokes apart, have you ever wondered what kind of duties and rules you must follow in order to be part of this select group of athletes? Let’s go back to my college days.
I remember clearly my first meeting with the whole crew of the Athletic Department. Every team from my university was reunited in the Athletic building to attend the NCAA Workshop that we have every Fall, which they explain to us the rules this organization has, requirements you must fulfill in order to play, and things that could jeopardize our eligibility leading into cutting our scholarship.
To be really honest with you, it was kind of scary to have a lady explaining things you should and shouldn’t do over the next 4-years, plus in the end, you are supposed to sign a document stating that you understand and you agree with everything. Keep in mind that things like drinking are very different in the US than other cultures, the drinking legal age here in the U.S. is 21, and alcohol is considered a banned drug by the NCAA, so once you sign the document you are agreeing with this requirement.
Each university is different and has its own system, mine, for example, they would run the drug tests during the season of your sport, as I was part of the tennis team I got picked in the Spring of my senior year. I received an email from my athletic director and later on that day my coach communicated to me and my roommate that we both got a pick for the drug test. The next day we had to be in the Athletic building at 6 A.M. without eating or going to the bathroom, but the day before I was so afraid I would not be able to pee that I started to drink lots and lots of water, as a result, I peed several times that night and when I woke up the next day, I did not have any desires to go to the bathroom.
Do you know how hard it is to pee on a pot with someone staring at you the entire time? don’t get me wrong the lady was very nice but I am very shy and it really bothered me. Unfortunately, those are the rules, you must have an official walking to the bathroom, seeing you pee on the pot and closing in front of her (in my case) so they are sure you did not alter the exam.
When I finally was able to do the test, it turned out to be too diluted, which means that I drank too much water and the testing would not be accurate, so they kept me waiting in a room with other athletes who could not give a qualified sample either. They advised us not to drink much water, gave us greasy food, which according to them it helps, and they even made us exercise! I ended up spending the entire morning at the Athletic Center and could not go to work. I finally was able to provide a qualified sample just before my practice.
Moral of the story, if you get picked for the drug test, do not drink too much water otherwise you will end up lockdown in a room with other athletes until you are able to give the right sample!
Even though I had nothing to fear and I was confident that the results were going to be fine, the whole situation was intimidating, and waiting for the results was kind of scary. Banned drugs are no joke, the NCAA policies against performance enhancement substances and recreational drugs are as strict as those in professional and Olympic sports.
There’s a lot in the line, you can’t afford to jeopardy the rest of the season or even the rest of your college years, you owe it to yourself to stay clean and healthy, and you owe it to others, your teammates and coaches who rely on you, and also your family who trusts you and is proud of you.
I hope you enjoyed and laughed about my experience, there are many other things you experience in college however this one was a memorable memory for me as a student-athlete!