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Athletics

CUW Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Drug Testing Policy

Concordia University Wisconsin Athletic Drug Education and Testing Policy

An Executive Summary

Overview

Substance abuse is one of the most important issues facing athletics and society today. The use of illegal drugs, misuse of legal drugs and supplements, use of performance-enhancing substances, misuse of alcohol and inappropriate use of tobacco are completely inconsistent with the standards expected of student-athletes at Concordia University.  Because of this belief, Concordia University and the Athletic Department chooses to take a strong and proactive stand against student-athlete use and/or involvement with alcohol, tobacco, performance-enhancing and illicit drugs.  Knowing the seriousness of drug abuse and how detrimental it is to an individual’s physical and mental well being, the student-athlete’s health, safety and welfare are our first priority. 

Every member of the athletic community is responsible for knowing the risks associated with substance use and abuse.  Medically and socially, the risks can seriously interfere with an individual’s performance both as a student and as an athlete, and can endanger the well being of their teammates.  Therefore, student-athletes, coaches, and staff are obligated to know the relevant college policies, federal, state, and local laws and are obligated to conduct themselves in accordance with these policies and laws.

This Policy does not represent a contract between the student-athlete and Concordia University, and is subject to change at any time without notice to the student-athlete.  For the purposes of this Policy, “student-athlete” shall mean any Concordia University student who participates in any Concordia University Department of Athletics sanctioned sporting event and/or practice.  Please note, this Policy represents the Concordia University policy on substance use/abuse and testing.  Each student-athlete is also subject to the NCAA testing programs, which is separate and distinct from this Policy.

Purpose

The intent of these policies is to prevent substance use and abuse by student-athletes through education, testing, and professional guidance.

  • Education – providing student-athletes and athletics staff with accurate information about the problems associated with substance use in sport, promoting health and safety in sport:  the Athletic Department carries the primary responsibility to provide this education;
  • Testing – analyzing biological specimens to detect prohibited substances student-athletes may introduce to their bodies and punitive consequences resulting from use; and
  • Professional Referral – facilitating appropriate treatment and rehabilitation of student-athletes.

Consent to Participate

Conditional to participation in intercollegiate athletics at Concordia University, each student-athlete will be required to sign a consent form agreeing to undergo drug testing and authorize the release of test results in accordance with this Policy (See Appendix A).  Failure to consent to or to comply with the requirements of this Policy may result in, suspension from practice and/or competition, or termination of eligibility to participate in intercollegiate athletics at Concordia University. Each student-athlete will be provided with a copy of this policy (responsibility of Head Coach), will be required to participate in an informative session describing the alcohol, tobacco and other drug education and drug-testing policies (responsibility of Athletic Director). Additionally, student-athletes will be given an opportunity to ask any questions regarding the information contained in the policy, the testing program, or other related issues prior to signing the drug-testing consent form.

Each head coach is responsible to have his/her athletes sign the required consent form before any equipment is issued and before the athlete becomes involved in any practice.  The consent forms are to be turned into the Head Athletic Trainer before the first practice.  The Head Athletic Trainer will report any violations of this policy to the Athletic Director and Vice President of Student Life.

Selected Types of Drug Testing at Concordia University

Unannounced Random Testing

All student-athletes who have signed the institutional drug-testing consent form and are listed on the institutional squad list are subject to unannounced random testing.

Students listed on the NCAA or institutional squad list that have exhausted their eligibility or who have career-ending injuries will not be selected.  Student-athletes will be selected for testing from the official institutional squad list by using a computerized random number program.

Reasonable Suspicion Screening

A student-athlete may be subject to testing at any time when, in the judgment of the Vice President of Student Life, the Director of Athletics or his/her designee, there is a reasonable belief to suspect the student-athlete is using or has used a prohibited substance.  Such reasonable suspicion may be based on information presented to the Vice President of Student Life or Director of Athletics or his/her designee by the Associate/Assistant Director of Athletics, Head Athletic Trainer, Assistant Athletic Trainer, Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Team Physician, Student Life Staff, or faculty member.  Reasonable suspicion may be found, but not limited to 1) observed possession or use of substances appearing to be prohibited drugs, 2) arrest or conviction for a criminal offense related to the possession or transfer of prohibited drugs - not necessarily for profit, or 3) observed abnormal appearance, conduct or behavior that may cause someone to suspect the use or abuse of a banned substance.  Examples of such abnormal appearance, conduct or behavior may include, but is not limited to the following: significant decline in academic or athletic performance, missing class, falling asleep in class, significant weight gain or loss, increased injury rate or illness, lethargy, agitation or nervousness, short temper, acts of violence, loss of friendships or legal involvement.

If suspected, the Vice President of Student Life or Director of Athletics or his or her designee will meet with the student and will provide the participant with the student-athlete Drug Testing Notification Form (See Appendix C). Once notified, the participant must stay with a member of their coaching staff, the athletics administration staff, or the sports medicine staff until an adequate specimen is produced. Note: The possession and/or use of illegal substances may be determined by means other than urinalysis.  When an individual is found to be in possession and/or using such substances, he/she will be subject to the same procedures that would be followed in the case of a positive urinalysis.

NCAA Qualifier Screening

Concordia University may drug test any student-athlete or team likely to qualify for NCAA championship competition.  If a student-athlete tests positive he/she will not be allowed to participate in the NCAA event until the athlete subsequently has produced a negative test prior to departure for the event

Re-entry Testing

A student-athlete who has had his or her eligibility to participate in intercollegiate sports suspended by Concordia University will be required to undergo a re-entry drug test, at the student-athlete’s expense, prior to regaining eligibility.  The Director of Athletics or his/her designee shall arrange for re-entry testing after the counselor or specialist involved in the student-athlete’s case indicates that re-entry into the intercollegiate sports program is appropriate.

Follow-up Testing

A student-athlete who has returned to participation in intercollegiate sports following a positive drug test under this policy may be subject to follow-up testing.

Testing will be unannounced and will be required at a frequency determined by the Vice President of Student Life in consultation with the Athletic Director or his/her designee in consultation with the counselor or specialist involved in the student-athlete’s case.

First Offense

The student-athlete shall be declared ineligible for further participation in the current or next sport participated in for 1/3 of a season of competition. An NCAA positive drug test will count as a Concordia University positive drug test. 

The student-athlete will be required to attend a confidential meeting with the Athletic Director, the student-athlete’s coach, and the Vice President of Student Life.  The student-athlete will be asked to discuss the nature and extent of his or her involvement with prohibited drugs. 

The Vice President of Student Life shall determine the appropriate form(s) of intervention and rehabilitation needed by the student-athlete, based on the circumstances of the case.  The student-athlete will not be permitted to return to participation in intercollegiate sports until he or she has complied with the counselor’s directions for treatment.  Treatment and rehabilitation costs are the responsibility of the student-athlete.

If the student-athlete regains his or her eligibility to participate in intercollegiate sports, he or she will be required to undergo unannounced follow-up testing.

Failing to comply with the Vice President of Student Life’s directions for treatment, having a positive result on a reentry drug test will be deemed an additional offense for purposes of determining sanctions under this policy.

Second Offense

If a student-athlete tests positive a second time for the use of any banned substance, he/she shall lose all remaining regular and post-season eligibility in all sports at Concordia University.

Appeals Process

Student‑athletes who test positive under the terms of the Concordia University Athletic Department Drug Testing Policy will be entitled to a hearing before the Appeals Committee.  The Appeals Committee is composed of the Vice President of Student Life (Chair), The Athletic Director or Senior Women’s Administrator, and the Faculty Athletic Representative. Requests for such a hearing must be made to the Chair within forty‑eight (48) hours of notification of a positive test result.  If the forty-eight hours would end on a weekend, the request must be made by noon on the next business day.  Requests must be in writing and received by the Chair.  The student‑athlete may have a coach, faculty or staff or present if the student so desires.  However, the student‑athlete must present his or her own case.  The hearing should take place no more than seventy‑two (72) hours after the written request is received.  Either the student‑athlete or other parties involved may request an extension of this time to the Chair, who will consider whether to grant the extension upon a showing of good cause.  These proceedings shall include an opportunity for the student‑athlete to present evidence, as well as to review the results of the drug test.  The proceedings shall be confidential.  The decision by the Director of Athletics or his/her designee regarding the sanction to be imposed will be final. 

A student‑athlete who tests positive for a banned substance may, within 72 hours following receipt of notice of the laboratory finding, contest the finding.  Upon the student-athlete’s request for additional testing of the sample, the Director of Athletics will formally request the laboratory retained by the University to perform testing on specimen B.  The student-athlete may choose to be present at the opening of specimen B at the laboratory.  If the student-athlete does not wish to be present at the opening of specimen B, but desires to be represented, arrangements will be made for a surrogate to attend the opening of specimen B.  The surrogate will not be involved with any other aspect of the analysis of the specimen.  The student-athlete or his/her surrogate will attest to the sample number and the integrity of the security seal prior to the laboratory opening of specimen B.  Specimen B findings will be final, subject to the results of any appeal.  If specimen B results are negative, the drug test will be considered negative.  The athlete will be responsible for all costs associated with specimen B analysis (e.g., laboratory cost, travel costs). 

Safe Harbor Program

A student-athlete eligible for the Concordia University Safe Harbor Program may refer himself or herself to the Program for voluntary evaluation and counseling by contacting his/her Head Coach or any member of the Appeals Committee.  A student is not eligible for the Program after he or she has been informed of an impending drug test or after having received a positive Concordia University or NCAA drug test.

Concordia University will work with the student to prepare a Safe Harbor treatment plan, which may include confidential drug testing.  If the student tests positive for a banned substance upon entering the Safe Harbor Program, that positive test will not result in any administrative sanction unless the student tests positive in a subsequent retest or the student fails to comply with the treatment plan. (The team physician may suspend the student from play or practice if medically indicated).  A student will be permitted to remain in the Safe Harbor Program for a reasonable period of time, not to exceed thirty (30) days, as determined by the treatment plan.  A student will not be permitted to enter the Safe Harbor Program thirty (30) days prior to NCAA or Conference postseason competition.

If a student-athlete tests positive for any banned substance after entering the Safe Harbor Program or fails to comply with the Safe Harbor treatment plan, the student will be removed from the Safe Harbor Program, an initial Safe Harbor positive test will be treated as a first positive and a subsequent positive as a second positive, subject the sanctions explained in this policy.

While in compliance with the Safe Harbor Program treatment plan, the student will not be included in the list of students eligible for random drug testing by Concordia University.  Students in the Safe Harbor Program may be selected for drug testing by the NCAA.

The Director of Athletics, the Vice President of Student Life, the Head Athletic Trainer, the student-athlete’s Head Coach and the Team Physician will be informed of the student’s participation in the Safe Harbor Program.  The athletic trainer assigned to that sport also may be notified, if medically appropriate.  The assistant coach(es) also may be informed at the discretion of the head coach.  Other Concordia University employees may be informed only the extent necessary for the implementation of this Policy.  By signing the attached consent form, the student-athlete acknowledges and agrees that a Concordia University Athletic Department representative may notify student-athletes parents of a positive result.