By the tens of thousands, Texas student-athletes have been pulled out of class to urinate in a cup for the nation's largest high school steroids testing program.
Boys and girls in all sports, from football to tennis to cross country, have been randomly selected.
The results so far have found little to confirm fears that steroid use is a rampant problem. When the first 10,000 tests found only four positive results, critics declared the two-year program a waste of time and money.
Now state lawmakers must decide whether to keep the $6 million program chugging along, scale it down or eliminate it. The 2009 legislative session starts Tuesday.
The Texas legislator who sponsored the testing bill in 2007 calls it an "incredible success."
The point of testing was to act as a deterrent against steroid use, not catch teens using drugs, said Rep. Dan Flynn, a Republican...
No other state screens student-athletes for steroids as comprehensively as Texas, but more limited testing elsewhere also hasn't found widespread steroid use in high schools.
In Florida, a one-year, $100,000 pilot program that tested 600 student-athletes was discontinued last year after only one student tested positive.
New Jersey began random steroid tests of student-athletes who qualify for team or individual state championships in 2006, but only one of 500 athletes screened in the program's first year tested positive.
When the facts contradict your expectations, believe the facts. But there's that deterrence argument.
I'm inclined to support ditching the program, but could be persuaded by strong arguments the other way.