Approver(s):

Executive Council

Authorizes Release:

Vice President for Administration and Finance

Responsible Area:

Athletics Office

Review Cycle:

Annually or as required

Last Review:

August 2020

Related Policies and Additional References:

Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy; Code of Student Conduct

Philosophy and Objectives

St. Mary’s University is committed to the pursuit of excellence in intercollegiate athletics within the framework of an academic community dedicated to the University’s educational and religious objectives. The University demands the unquestioned integrity of its athletics programs. As a Catholic institution of higher education, the University challenges student-athletes to develop in mind, body and spirit, while calling them to personal integrity and responsibility.

Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance abuse, including the use of illegal or performance-enhancing drugs and the abuse of prescription drugs, constitutes a threat to the physical and mental well-being of student-athletes and to the integrity of the University and intercollegiate athletics. The University’s Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Program for Student-Athletes (“Program”) is designed to supplement University and Department of Athletics efforts to educate student-athletes about the effects of Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance abuse on health and well-being. The Program seeks to deter and detect Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance abuse to:

  • reflect the University’s high expectations for student-athletes as representatives and ambassadors of the University;
  • protect the health and safety of the University’s student-athletes and their teammates and competitors;
  • ensure that the University’s athletic programs adhere to basic principles of fair play and sportsmanship; and
  • provide appropriate assistance, treatment and support to student-athletes found to have engaged in substance abuse.

Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Program Education and Counseling Program

Student-athletes who are educated about substance use in sport are more likely to make informed and intelligent decisions about usage. St. Mary’s University conducts a Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Education Program for student-athletes on an annual basis in partnership with the Student Health and Counseling offices. These educational programs are designed to review athletic department, institutional, conference and national governing body policies related to alcohol, tobacco, street and performance-enhancement drugs and dietary supplements. All student-athletes and athletics coaching staff members are required to attend this educational session. Makeup sessions are available for participants who must miss a scheduled educational session for an approved reason. In addition to educating student-athletes and athletics staff about the various policies, a review of the St. Mary’s University Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Program (the “Program”) is conducted. In addition, special educational programs may be arranged to provide participants opportunities to learn more about the dangers of specific substances.

St. Mary’s University offers counseling support services at no cost to students in the Student Counseling Center. The department’s mission is to support the intellectual, emotional, social and cultural development of students by offering a wide range of services, including personal and group counseling, consultation and educational services.

Scope of Program

  1. Relationship to NCAA Testing. The National Collegiate Athletics Association (“NCAA”) administers its own drug testing program under a separate protocol. As a member of the NCAA, the University participates in the NCAA drug testing program. Testing under the University’s Program is independent of NCAA testing, but a positive NCAA drug test triggers concurrent sanctions under this Program.
  2. “Student-Athlete” Defined. For purposes of the Program, a “student-athlete” is any student who is listed on the eligibility list form of any team sponsored on the varsity level at St. Mary’s University.
  3. Eligibility Exhausted. A student-athlete who has exhausted his or her eligibility for intercollegiate competition is not subject to testing under the Program.
  4. Relationship to University Code of Student Conduct. The St. Mary’s University Code of Student Conduct prohibits, among other things, the possession or use of illegal drugs, the unauthorized possession or misuse of prescription drugs and the possession of drug paraphernalia. Like all other students at the University, student-athletes remain subject to these prohibitions and related sanctions. To avoid inequitable treatment of student-athletes in relation to other students, however, a positive drug test under NCAA testing or this Program shall not provide the basis for or be considered in connection with disciplinary procedures for violations of the University Code of Student Conduct.

Administration of Program

  1. Methodology
    1. Drugs and Dietary Supplements. Each academic year, 30% of the student-athlete population (15% each academic term) will be tested pursuant to this policy. This will include no less than four members of each varsity sport sponsored at St. Mary’s University to be tested annually.
      1. Student-athletes will be subject to four testing windows annually; two testing windows will occur each fall and spring semester. During each testing window, the Program requires a minimum of one student-athlete from each varsity team be selected for testing, in addition to a randomized selection of four individual student-athletes to participate in this testing window. Student-athletes are expected to participate if chosen to participate in multiple testing windows.
    2. Alcohol and Tobacco. Refer to the University’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy for regulations and sanctions pertaining to alcohol and tobacco policy offenses. If a student-athlete is found guilty of violating this University policy, the student-athlete will be subject to the sanctions imposed by the Code of Student Conduct. On a case-by-case basis, the Director of Athletics has the discretion to impose additional sanctions, in addition to those imposed by the Code of Student Conduct, if a student-athlete is found in violation of the University’s Alcohol and Other Drugs Policy.
  2. Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Program Oversight Committee
    1. Structure. The Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Oversight Committee (“Committee”) reports to the President and consists of five members.
      1. Appointments. The Director of Athletics, as the current chair, shall appoint the members of the committee. The Director of Athletics will be responsible for communicating information related to the Program to the President and Vice Provost for Student Development. This committee shall be comprised of the Director of Athletics (serves as the Chair), Senior Woman Administrator, Senior Compliance Administrator, Head Athletics Trainer and Director of Student Welfare and Integrity. In the event a committee member is the Head Couch of a student-athlete, this member will recuse himself or herself from the specific matter.
      2. Terms. Members shall be appointed for staggered three-year terms and may be reappointed for one or more terms. If a member no longer holds the position that qualified the member for appointment, the appointing authority shall appoint a successor. Likewise, the appointing authority shall designate an interim member to replace a member who is temporarily unable to serve.
      3. Chair. The President shall designate the Chair of the Committee, typically the Director of Athletics, on an annual basis. The Chair has authority to act on behalf of the Committee at his or her discretion. The Chair also has the authority to extend any deadline set forth in this Program (except for those deadlines set forth in the Appeals section of this policy) based on extraordinary circumstances.
      4. Drug Testing Coordinator. The Drug Testing Coordinator, typically the Head Athletic Trainer, shall support and coordinate administration of the Program under the protocol developed by the Committee.
    2. Duties. The Committee shall meet on an as-needed basis.
      1. Development of Drug Testing Protocol. The Committee of this policy, informed by the best available information on drug testing methods and practices and on drug use in intercollegiate athletics, shall:
        1. determine the appropriate methods of drug testing to use;
        2. establish the frequency of random testing and the number of student-athletes to be tested; and
        3. designate teams whose student-athletes, or a random selection thereof, shall be subject to pre-participation or team testing.
      2. Implementation of Drug Testing Protocol. The Committee shall select a non-member University physician or athletic trainer to serve as the Drug Testing Coordinator. In consultation with the Drug Testing Coordinator, the Committee shall identify an outside agency to perform laboratory testing services on samples collected under this Program, and may recommend to the President that the University contract with an outside agency to assist in the administration of the Program.
      3. Evaluation of Educational Initiatives. On an annual basis, the Committee shall gather and evaluate information on University and Department of Athletics initiatives that educate students on the following issues: the dangers of substance abuse; the availability of substance abuse assistance and treatment; and the requirements and procedures of the NCAA drug-testing program and this Program.
      4. Annual Report. The Committee shall provide an annual report to the President and the Board of Trustees concerning implementation of this Program. Such report shall include the number of student-athletes tested during the past year under the NCAA drug testing program and this Program and aggregate test results. Such report shall also include information collected on the educational initiatives and any recommendations for modification of this Program.
      5. Drug Testing Appeals Board. The Drug Testing Appeals Board (“Appeals Board”) shall consist of the Faculty Athletics Representative (serves as Chair), the Vice Provost for Student Development (or his or her designee) and a member of the campus faculty and staff community. The Director of Athletics shall designate the Chair of the Appeals Board on an annual basis.

Prohibition on Use of Banned Drugs and Dietary Supplements

  1. Prohibition on Use of Banned Drugs. All student-athletes at St. Mary’s University are prohibited from using any drug belonging to any of the classes of drugs banned by the NCAA, unless a medical exception is granted pursuant to this policy for such use. The classes of banned drugs include stimulants, anabolic agents, diuretics and other masking agents, street drugs, peptide hormones and analogues, anti-estrogens, beta-2 agonists and any drugs chemically related to these classes.
  2. Medical Exceptions. The NCAA recognizes that some banned substances are used for legitimate medical purposes. Accordingly, the NCAA allows exception to be made for those student-athletes with a documented medical history demonstrating the need for treatment with a banned medication. Exceptions may be granted for substances included in the following classes of banned drugs: anabolic agents*, stimulants, beta blockers, diuretics, anti-estrogens*, beta-2 agonists and peptide hormone*. No medical exception review is available for substances in the class of illicit drugs.
    1. Alternative non-banned medications for the treatment of various conditions may exist and should be considered before an exception is pursued.
    2. In the event that the student-athlete and the physician (in coordination with sports medicine staff at the student-athlete’s institution) agree that no appropriate alternative medication to the use of the banned substance is available, the decision may be made to use a medication that falls under an NCAA class of banned drugs. The institution, through its Director of Athletics, may request an exception for use of an anabolic agent, anti-estrogen or peptide hormone by submitting to the NCAA medical documentation from the prescribing physician supporting the diagnosis and treatment.
      * Note: the use of an anabolic agent, anti-estrogen or peptide hormone must be approved by the NCAA before the student-athlete is allowed to participate in competition while taking these medications.
    3. The institution should maintain documentation that supports the use of medication in the student-athlete’s medical record on campus. The documentation can be a letter or copies of medical notes from the prescribing physician that documents how the diagnosis was reached and that the student-athlete has a medical history demonstrating the need for treatment with the banned medication. The letter should contain information as to the diagnosis (including appropriate verification of the diagnosis), medical history and dosage information.
      ADHD Medication: For a medical exception request for a positive test involving stimulant medication to treat ADHD, the NCAA requires the documentation be accompanied by the required form NCAA Medical Exception Documentation Reporting Form to Support the Diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Treatment with Banned Stimulant Medication.
    4. Unless requesting a review for the medical use of an anabolic agent or peptide hormone, a student-athlete’s medical records or physicians’ letters should not be sent to the NCAA unless requested by the NCAA. In addition, students are not expected to report the use of any substances to the drug testing staff at the time of an NCAA-mandated drug test.
    5. In the event that a student-athlete is tested by the NCAA and tests positive for a substance for which the institution desires an exception, normal procedures for reporting positive test results will be followed (see section 8.0 of the NCAA Drug Testing Program Protocol). The institution may request an exception at the time of notification of the positive drug test (“A” sample) by submitting documentation to Drug Free Sport. If the institution fails to provide medical documentation to Drug Free Sport before the “B” sample is reported as positive to the institution, the student-athlete will be withheld from competition until the documentation is received, reviewed and the medical exception granted.
    6. Requests for medical exceptions will be reviewed by the medical panel of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.
    7. The NCAA will inform the Director of Athletics regarding the outcome of the exception request. In the event that the exception is not granted, the institution may appeal this action according to Section 8.0 of the NCAA Drug Testing Program Protocol.
  3. Drug Classifications. Under this Program, the University distinguishes between other Substances, Street Drug: Marijuana and Street Drugs Other than Marijuana. Drugs included in, or chemically related to, all classes on the NCAA banned drugs list other than street drugs will be treated as performance-enhancing drugs.
  4. Dietary Supplements. St. Mary’s University Department of Athletics personnel will not distribute or encourage the use of any dietary supplements or ergogenic aids. Many dietary supplements or ergogenic aids contain banned substances. Oftentimes the labeling of dietary supplements is not accurate and is misleading. Terms such as “healthy” or “all natural” do not mean dietary supplements do not contain a banned substance or are safe to take. Using dietary supplements may cause positive drug tests. Student-athletes who are currently taking dietary supplements or intend to take any are required to review the product with the Head Athletic Trainer and/or their assigned staff Athletic Trainer. Student-athletes are solely responsible for any substance that they ingest. All student-athletes are encouraged to use the Drug Free Sport Resource Exchange Center (REC) to obtain current and accurate information on dietary supplements or ergogenic aids. All inquiries to the REC are confidential.
    Student-athletes must understand that even though the athletic training staff or Drug Free Sport has cleared any dietary supplement, the athletic training staff does not condone the use of dietary supplements and is not responsible for any supplements the student-athlete intakes. Student-athletes should also understand that they are responsible for any dietary supplements they ingest.
    The NCAA does allow an institution to provide permissible substances (bars, recovery drinks, etc.) to its athletes. However, it is still the athlete’s responsibility to make sure those permissible substances are acceptable, and if ingested, are the sole responsibility of the athlete.
  5. Safe Harbor.
    1. On one occasion during the student-athlete’s eligibility for intercollegiate athletics at St. Mary’s University, a student-athlete who has used the street drug Marijuana may seek safe harbor under this Program by disclosing his or her use of the street drug Marijuana to the Head Athletic Trainer or Assistant Athletic Trainer. If a student-athlete discloses to an Athletics Department staff member, under this program, the staff member (including coaches) must notify the Head Athletic Trainer within 24 hours of the student’s disclosure. The safe harbor does not apply to the NCAA drug testing program.
    2. Eligibility. To be eligible for the Safe Harbor, the student-athlete must not have previously tested positive for any street drug under the NCAA drug testing program or this Program. A disclosure made after the student-athlete receives notification of a random test or after a non-random test under this Program shall not create Safe Harbor with regard to such test.
    3. Consequences of Safe Harbor Request.
      1. The Athletics Department employee shall promptly notify the Drug Testing Coordinator of the Safe Harbor disclosure. The Drug Testing Coordinator shall arrange to have the student-athlete tested to establish a baseline for re-testing purposes. If the baseline test results in a positive test for the street drug disclosed by the student-athlete, the result shall not be treated as a positive finding. If the baseline test results in a negative test, the one-time Safe Harbor option is not returned to the student-athlete.
      2. A student-athlete’s request for Safe Harbor shall not result in sanctions affecting the student-athlete’s participation in team conditioning, practice and/or competition, except that the Director of Athletics may suspend the student-athlete from conditioning, practice and/or competition until the Director of Athletics is satisfied that the student-athlete is physically and mentally fit to resume such activities.

Program Testing for Use of Banned Drugs

  1. Consent Form. The Athletics Compliance Office shall provide each student-athlete with information on this Program and the NCAA drug testing program, including forms stating that the student-athlete consents to testing under this Program and the NCAA drug testing program. Each student-athlete must sign the consent forms before he or she can participate in any countable athletically-related activity or, for members of the cheerleading squad, practice.
  2. Testing Methods. The University may conduct drug testing using any medically-recognized and scientifically reliable method of testing, including but not limited to urine testing and hair testing.
  3. Methods of Selection. All student-athletes are subject to year-round testing, for the use of any banned drug, under a protocol established by the Committee within the following parameters:
    1. Random Testing. All student-athletes are subject to random testing. On an annual basis, the Committee shall designate the number of random testing windows and the number of student-athletes to be tested during each window, but there shall be no fewer than four such windows during the year with testing of at least 8% of the student-athlete population during each window.
    2. Pre-Participation Testing. The Director of Athletics, in consultation with the “Committee,” shall have the authority to designate teams subject to drug testing as part of a pre-participation physical required of all incoming student-athletes, including whether to test all incoming student-athletes on the designated team or a random sample thereof.
    3. Team Testing. The Director of Athletics, in consultation with the “Committee,” shall have the authority to designate teams subject to drug testing at any time during the course of the year, including whether to test all student-athletes on the designated team or a random sample thereof.
    4. For-Cause Testing. If the Director of Athletics has a reasonable suspicion to believe that a student-athlete is using a banned drug, he or she may notify the Drug Testing Coordinator, who shall arrange to have the student-athlete tested. (See Appendix B: Best Practices for reporting Reasonable Suspicion.)
    5. Probationary Testing. Following a positive finding or a Safe Harbor disclosure, a student-athlete shall be subject to periodic announced and unannounced testing for the duration at the discretion of the Director of Athletics, in consultation with the Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Committee.
  4. Implementation of Drug Testing Protocol.
    1. Notification. A student-athlete selected for testing shall be provided, in written or electronic form, the following information:
      1. a statement of the method by which the student-athlete was selected for testing (random, pre-participation, team, for-cause or probationary testing);
      2. a description of the type of test to be conducted (urine, hair and/or other);
      3. information on the designated test site to which the student-athlete must report for testing; and
      4. information on the appointed time at which, or window within which, the student-athlete must report to the designated test site.
    2. Conflict, Illness or Injury. The Drug Testing Coordinator shall excuse a student-athlete from a drug test conducted pursuant to this policy, and shall arrange alternative testing of the student-athlete in each of the following circumstances:
      1. the student-athlete notifies the Drug Testing Coordinator of an academic obligation or athletic competition that conflicts with the scheduled test and the Drug Testing Coordinator verifies the conflict; and
      2. the Drug Testing Coordinator, in his or her discretion, determines that the student-athlete has presented a compelling justification for rescheduling the test. In addition, the Drug Testing Coordinator or his or her designee may excuse a sick or injured student-athlete from the designated test site even if the student-athlete has not completed the test. In such a case, the Drug Testing Coordinator or his or her designee, before releasing the student-athlete from the site, must document appropriate arrangements for alternative testing of the student-athlete.
    3. Positive Identification. Upon arriving at the designated test site, a student-athlete shall provide valid photography identification enabling the collection agent to positively identify him or her.
    4. Provision of Specimen. The student-athlete shall provide a specimen in accordance with the collection agent’s directions. In the case of urine testing, the collection agent shall monitor the furnishing of the specimen by direct observation to ensure the integrity of the specimen. If the specimen is incomplete, the student-athlete must remain under direct observation until the student-athlete produces an adequate specimen. The student-athlete shall have the right to witness the sealing of the specimen container in accordance with collection procedures.
    5. Failure to Appear; Refusal to Submit; Failure to Cooperate; Manipulation or Tampering. Failing to appear for or refusing to submit to a scheduled drug test, failing to cooperate with the test, failing to provide an adequate specimen, manipulating or tampering with a test sample or otherwise attempting to sabotage the collection process or to materially affect the results shall trigger a positive finding.
    6. Laboratory. All testing shall be performed by a laboratory designated by the Committee. Information on the laboratory’s testing methodology shall be provided to the student-athlete at his or her request.
    7. Positive Results. The testing laboratory shall notify the Drug Testing Coordinator of any positive test. The Drug Testing Coordinator shall determine whether any medical exception is warranted under the NCAA’s Medical Exception protocol. If the Drug Testing Coordinator finds that no medical exception is warranted, the Drug Testing Coordinator shall document confirmation of the positive test.

Positive Finding Sanctions

  1. Positive Findings.
    1. “Positive Finding” Defined. A positive finding results from:
      1. a test conducted and confirmed under this Program or the NCAA testing program demonstrating evidence of the use of a banned drug, where no medical exception is granted for such use (“positive test”);
      2. a failure to appear for, refusal to submit to, failure to cooperate with or failure to provide an adequate specimen in a drug test under this Program or the NCAA testing program; or
      3. manipulation of or tampering with a test sample or otherwise attempting to sabotage the collection process or to materially affect the results in a drug test under this Program or the NCAA testing program.
    2. Consequences of Positive Findings.
      1. Notification. Within 24 hours of confirming a positive finding, the Drug Testing Coordinator shall notify the Director of Athletics.
        1. Written Confirmation; Notice of Appeal. The Drug Testing Coordinator and the Director of Athletics (or his or her designee) shall meet in person, telephonically or by other appropriate method with the student-athlete and Head Coach, as soon as practicable, but within five business days of the Drug Testing Coordinator’s initial notification to the Director of Athletics to discuss the positive finding and the sanctions (including any period of probation, participation sanctions or loss of athletics eligibility) to be imposed. At this meeting or within three business days thereof, the Director of Athletics shall provide the student-athlete with written confirmation of the sanctions and notice of the student-athlete’s right to appeal under the Appeals section of this policy.
        2. Request for Mitigating Circumstances Review. If a student-athlete can demonstrate that (a) a positive finding in testing under this Program resulted from use of a banned drug prior to the student-athlete’s initial enrollment at St. Mary’s University; or (b) a first positive finding in testing under this Program for a performance-enhancing drug resulted from unintentional use of the drug, the student-athlete should present credible evidence to such effect to the Drug Testing Coordinator to seek relief. Within three business days of receiving the evidence, the Drug Testing Coordinator shall review the evidence and determine whether the evidence is credible. Upon receipt of this request, the Drug Testing Coordinator notifies the Director of Athletics. A request to review such evidence shall stay the obligation of the Department of Athletics representative to issue the written confirmation and notice of appeal described in the Positive Finding Sanctions section, paragraph 1.B.I.a. until the Drug Testing Coordinator and/or the Committee resolves the request.
        3. Discretionary Notification. To further the well-being of the student-athlete, the Director of Athletics, in consultation with the Vice Provost for Student Development (Dean of Students), may notify the student-athlete’s parents (or legal guardian(s)) and team personnel (such as the head coach, sport administrator, team physician or athletic trainer) of the positive finding and sanctions. Likewise, the Director of Athletics may provide other appropriate University officials with any information necessary to further the well-being of the student-athlete or the safety of the University community.
        4. Stay of Sanctions. Any sanctions imposed under this Program shall begin to run when the timeframe for requesting an appeal under the appeals section of this policy expires or, if such appeal is timely requested, when the Appeals Board notifies the student-athlete of its decision. Notwithstanding this provision, the Director of Athletics may suspend the student-athlete from conditioning, practice and/or competition during the timeframe for requesting an appeal or pending resolution of a timely requested appeal until the Director of Athletics is satisfied the student is physically and mentally fit to resume such activities.
      2. Referral for Drug Counseling Assessment. Following a Safe Harbor disclosure or a positive drug test finding, the Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing Oversight Committee shall refer the student-athlete to the Student Counseling Center for substance abuse assessment. The director of the Student Counseling Center (or designee) shall determine the intervention that would best meet the student-athlete’s needs and shall provide his or her recommendation to the student-athlete, the Drug Testing Coordinator and, upon request, the athletic trainer or physician assigned to the student-athlete’s team.
      3. Probation.
        1. Duration of Probation. Following a Safe Harbor disclosure or a positive finding, the student-athlete shall be placed on probation for the period of time specified in Consequences for a Positive Finding.
        2. Conditions of Probation. During the period of probation, the student-athlete shall be subject to periodic announced and unannounced testing, as determined by the Director of Athletics, in consultation with Drug, Alcohol and Other Substance Testing, for any banned drug. A positive test will constitute a positive finding, except that a positive test for the drug for which the student-athlete previously tested positive (or, in the case of a Safe Harbor disclosure, provided a baseline) will be treated as a positive finding only if the level of the drug present in the student-athlete’s system demonstrates continued use of the banned drug.
      4. Other Substances.
        1. Upon the first finding for use of an Other Substance (i.e. Performance-enhancing Drug or Dietary Supplement), the student-athlete shall be subject to the sanctions specified in the Consequences for a Positive Finding.
        2. Failed NCAA Test. If the student-athlete’s positive finding is the result of a confirmed positive test in the NCAA drug testing program, participation sanctions imposed under this Program shall run concurrently with NCAA participation sanctions.
      5. Street Drugs Other than Marijuana.
        1. Upon the first positive finding for use of a street drug, the student-athlete shall be subject to the sanctions specified in the Consequences for a Positive Finding (See Appendix A).
        2. Failed NCAA Test. If the student-athlete’s positive finding is the result of a confirmed positive test in the NCAA drug testing program, participation sanctions imposed under this Program shall run concurrently with NCAA participation sanctions.
      6. Street Drug: Marijuana.
        1. Upon the first positive finding for use of the street drug Marijuana, the student-athlete shall be subject to the sanctions specified in the Consequences for a Positive Finding (See Appendix A).
        2. Failed NCAA Test. If the student-athlete’s positive finding is the result of a confirmed positive test in the NCAA drug testing program, participation sanctions imposed under this Program shall run concurrently with NCAA participation sanctions.
      7. Aggravating Circumstances.
        1. Risk to Self or Others. If, upon notification by the Drug Testing Coordinator of a positive finding, the Director of Athletics determines that the student-athlete’s positive finding resulted from circumstances posing a grave risk to self or others (such as use of cocaine, heroin or hallucinogens), the Director of Athletics may impose sanctions beyond those set forth in the schedule of sanctions, in addition to notifying appropriate University officials.
        2. Category of Subsequent Positive. Where a positive finding for use of a performance-enhancing drug precedes or follows a positive finding for use of a street drug, the Committee may impose sanctions beyond those set forth in the schedule of sanctions.
        3. Timing of Increase. The Director of Athletics, in consultation with the Director of Student Integrity and Welfare, shall make any decision to increase sanctions within five business days of the Drug Testing Coordinator’s notification of the positive finding.
      8. Mitigating Circumstances.
        1. Use Prior to Enrollment. If the Drug Testing Coordinator has credible evidence that a positive finding resulted from the student-athlete’s use of a banned drug prior to the student-athlete’s initial enrollment at St. Mary’s University, the Drug Testing Coordinator shall so notify the Committee. Unless the Committee determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the positive finding resulted from use of the banned drug prior to the student-athlete’s initial enrollment at St. Mary’s, the Department of Athletics representative shall issue the written confirmation and notice of appeal described in Positive Finding Sanctions section, paragraph 1.B.I.a. If the Committee does make such a determination, it may, within its discretion, void the positive finding or reduce the sanction. Whether or not the Committee voids the positive finding, the Committee shall refer the student-athlete for drug counseling assessment and treatment. Additionally, the Committee may place the student-athlete on probation for the length of time determined at the discretion of the Director of Athletics, in consultation with the Committee.
        2. Unintentional Use of Performance Enhancing Drug. In the case of a first positive finding in testing under this Program for a performance-enhancing drug, if the Drug Testing Coordinator has credible evidence that the positive finding resulted from the student-athlete’s unintentional use of the banned drug, such as through use of a supplement containing a banned ingredient without knowledge of the contents, the Drug Testing Coordinator shall so notify the Committee. Unless the Committee determines by a preponderance of the evidence that the positive finding resulted from the student-athlete’s unintentional use of the banned drug, the Department of Athletics representative shall issue the written confirmation and notice of appeal described in Positive Finding Sanctions section, paragraph 1.B.I.a. If the Committee does make such a determination, it shall suspend the one-year ban on intercollegiate competition. In the event the Committee suspends the one-year ban on intercollegiate competition, the student-athlete may engage in practice and conditioning but shall not compete until a negative re-test confirms the banned drug has left the student-athlete’s system. A subsequent positive finding for a performance-enhancing drug shall be treated as a second positive.
      9. Failure to Appear; Refusal to Submit; Failure to Cooperate; Failure to Provide Adequate Specimen; Manipulation or Tampering. For purposes of the schedule of sanctions, a failure to appear for or refusal to submit to a required drug test, a failure to cooperate with the test, a failure to provide an adequate specimen, the manipulation of or tampering with a test sample or an attempt to sabotage the collection process or to materially affect the results will be deemed a positive finding for performance-enhancing drugs.
      10. Application for Fifth Year of Athletics Eligibility. A student-athlete who is banned from intercollegiate competition for a whole or part of any season as part of a sanction under this Program shall not be permitted to assert inability to compete during the ban as a basis for seeking a fifth year of athletics eligibility at St. Mary’s University.
      11. Permanent loss of Athletics Eligibility; Termination of Grant-in-Aid. When a student-athlete incurs a permanent loss of athletics eligibility at St. Mary’s University under this Program, the student-athlete is banned from conditioning, practicing, competing and engaging in any other participation on any intercollegiate team at St. Mary’s. In addition, the University will terminate the student-athlete’s grant-in-aid at the earliest point consistent with NCAA, conference and University rules.

Appeals

  1. Grounds for Appeal. Within five business days of receiving the written confirmation, the student-athlete, through a written submission to the Faculty Athletics Representative (Chair of the Appeals Board), may appeal a positive finding or sanction under this Program on one of the following grounds:
    1. a procedural irregularity or defect materially affected the outcome of the test on which the positive finding was based;
    2. a positive finding was otherwise in error, as demonstrated by compelling evidence;
    3. an exercise of discretionary authority expressly conferred under this Program was arbitrary and capricious; or
    4. a determination concerning use prior to a student-athlete’s initial enrollment or unintentional use of a performance-enhancing drug was in error, as demonstrated by compelling evidence.
  2. Consideration of Appeal. The Appeals Board shall have the authority to establish the procedures, rules and limitations under which the student-athlete may present evidence and the authority to establish other procedural elements of the appeal. The Appeals Board may require a student-athlete to undergo a drug test before making its decision. Except in cases in which the Appeals Board is awaiting the results of an additional drug test, the Appeal Board shall notify the student-athlete in writing of the disposition of the appeal within five business days of receiving the review request. In cases in which the Appeals Board is awaiting the results of an additional drug test, the Appeals Board shall notify the student-athlete in writing of the disposition of the appeal within five business days of receiving the results of the test.
  3. Remedies. If the Appeals Board concludes that a procedural irregularity or defect materially affected the outcome of the test on which the positive finding was based or that the positive finding was otherwise in error, the Appeals Board shall set aside the positive finding. If the Appeals Board concludes that an exercise of discretionary authority expressly conferred under this Program was arbitrary and capricious, the Appeals Board shall set aside the positive finding, reduce or set aside the sanction, as appropriate. If the Appeals Board concludes that a determination upon use of a banned drug prior to the student-athlete’s initial enrollment at St. Mary’s University was in error, the Appeals Board shall at a minimum refer the student-athlete for drug counseling assessment and treatment, and it may in addition void the positive finding, reduce the sanction and/or place the student-athlete on probation for the length of time corresponding to probation for a first positive for the drug in question.
    If the Appeals Board concludes that a determination on unintentional use of a performance-enhancing drug was in error, the Appeals Board shall suspend the one-year ban on competition.
  4. Finality. Decisions of the Appeals Board are final.

Appendix A: Consequences of Positive Finding

Consequences of Positive Finding
UseFirst PositiveSecond PositiveThird PositiveFourth Positive
Use of Street Drugs Other than Marijuana and Other SubstancesNo participation in, or being present for, athletically-related activities for a consecutive 30-day period; 20 hours of community service; self-arranged retest showing substance has left student-athlete’s system; must attend Substance Abuse Counseling (as prescribed by University’s counseling center)One-year ban or permanent loss of athletics eligibility and athletically-related aid at St. Mary’s University; 40 hours of community service; self-arranged re-test showing substance has left student-athlete’s system; approved reinstatement request from Drug Test Oversight CommitteePermanent loss of athletics eligibility and athletically-related aid at St. Mary’s UniversityNot Applicable
Use of Street Drug: MarijuanaNo participation in, or being present for, athletically-related activities for a consecutive 14-day period; 20 hours of community service; self-arranges re-test showing substance has left student-athlete’s systemNo participation in, or being present for, athletically-related activities for a consecutive 30-day period (no less than 3 contests or dates of competition); 40 hours of community service; self-arranged re-test showing substance has left student-athlete’s system; approved reinstatement request from Drug Test Oversight CommitteeOne-year ban or permanent loss of athletics eligibility and/or athletics aid at St. Mary’s UniversityPermanent loss of athletics eligibility and athletically-related aid at St. Mary’s University

Alcohol and Tobacco Violations

Alcohol and Tobacco violations will be subject to the regulations governing these substances, pursuant to St. Mary’s University Code of Student Conduct, conference bylaws and NCAA regulations. A student-athlete found in violation of the Alcohol and/or Tobacco policy will be subject to consequences outlined in the Code of Student Conduct and local law. Should a student-athlete be found in violation of these policies, the Director of Athletics, in consultation with the Committee, has the discretion to impose additional sanctions.

* The Head Coach, in consultation with the Director of Athletics, can impose additional sanctions, to be served concurrently with those listed in the preceding table. The final decision to impose additional sanctions shall be at the discretion of the Director of Athletics. Coaches are prohibited from imposing any sanctions related to violation of this policy without consulting the Director of Athletics.

Appendix B: Best Practices for Reporting Reasonable Suspicion

If a St. Mary’s University Athletics Department staff member or coach has reason to believe, through observation, that a student-athlete’s appearance, behavior and/or conduct indicates the possible use of alcohol or drugs, then the staff member or coach should proceed with a Reasonable Suspicion Form.

  • Think about the symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse and document unusual behavior, absenteeism or tardiness, difficulty standing or walking, falling asleep during class or team activities or a particular odor, to name a few examples.
  • When documenting, be as specific as possible. Name the behaviors being observed and causing the reasonable suspicion. For example, Gregg came to practice this morning looking unusually fatigued. He seemed to have difficulty understanding directions given during film session, was slow to respond and appeared very distracted when participating in the practice session. Additionally, his eyes were red and drooping, and he smelled like marijuana.
  • Have more than one staff member or coach document reasonable suspicion. This will help create an unbiased case.

Staff members and coaches are also advised to familiarize themselves with the following information detailing common behaviors of a person possibly using or abusing alcohol and drugs:

  • Chronically Withdrawn: isolated; few or no friends; unresponsive; crying spells
  • Chronically Aggressive: unreasonable aggressive or physical behavior; rage
  • Oppositional Behavior: inability to follow rules; openly defiant; vandalism
  • Poor Social Skills or Bizarre Behavior: no or poor peer interaction; abnormal eating habits; talking to self; self-abuse; drug talk
  • Attendance: chronic absences; frequently ill or oversleeps; headaches; frequently leaves or skips class
  • Rapid Mood Changes: significant or quick and inexplicable mood change; change in academic grade patterns; shift in level of involvement or detachment
  • Physical Problems: poor balance; glass, bloodshot eyes; smell of alcohol or drugs; sudden change in hygiene habits; sleepy or lethargic appearance

NCAA Division II Consequences for a Positive Drug Test

  1. A student-athlete who tests positive for a “banned drug” other than a “street drug” shall be withheld from competition in all sports for a minimum of 365 days from the drug test collection date and shall lose a year of eligibility. A student-athlete who tests positive for a “street drug” shall be withheld from competition for 50 percent of a season in all sports (at least the first 50 percent of all contests or dates of competition in the season following the positive test).
  2. A student-athlete who tests positive has an opportunity to appeal the positive drug test.
  3. A student-athlete who tests positive a second time for the use of any drug other than a “street drug” shall lose all remaining regular-season and postseason eligibility in all sports. A combination of two positive tests involving street drugs (marijuana, THC or heroin), in whatever order, will result in the loss of an additional year of eligibility.
  4. The penalty for missing a scheduled drug test is the same as the penalty for testing positive for the use of a banned drug other than a street drug.
  5. If a student-athlete immediately transfers to a non-NCAA institution while ineligible because of a positive NCAA drug test, and competes in collegiate competition within the prescribed penalty at a non-NCAA institution, the student-athlete will be ineligible for all NCAA regular-season and postseason competition until the student-athlete does not compete in collegiate competition for the entirety of the prescribed penalty.

NCAA Drug Testing Appeals Process

If requested to do so, an institution is required to bring an appeal on behalf of a student-athlete who has a positive drug test or who violates an NCAA drug testing protocol. The following information is provided to NCAA institutions that may be considering filing an appeal on behalf of a student-athlete.

At least three members of the Drug Education and Drug Testing subcommittee of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports hear appeals. The Chair of the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and other designated members of the Committee may also serve on the subcommittee to hear appeals. In the event that a member institution belonging to the same athletics conference of the appealing institution employs a member of the subcommittee, that subcommittee member will not hear the appeal.

Appeals are conducted by telephone conference arranged by The National Center for Drug Free Sport (Drug Free Sport) for the NCAA. NCAA staff, NCAA drug-testing consultants and NCAA legal counsel are normally present during the telephone conference, but do not participate in subcommittee deliberations or voting.

The subcommittee prefers not to know the identity of the institution requesting the appeal or the identities of any of the institutional representatives, the student-athlete or his or her representatives. Accordingly, during the telephone conference parties should refer to themselves only by title and should not mention the institution’s name.

The institution and the student-athlete may include any party on the telephone conference they wish after reporting their names and telephone numbers to Drug Free Sport. The institution is required to include the student-athlete and the Director of Athletics. The Director of Athletics may designate a senior staff member to participate in his or her absence, subject to approval by the subcommittee chair. The head coach is recommended to be on the call. The NCAA does not restrict the grounds for an appeal, but an institution bringing an appeal must comply with the requirements set forth in Section 8.0. Appeal considerations are outlined below:

  1. Procedural Challenge. Either the institution or the student-athlete may challenge any procedure relating to the collection or testing of the subject samples. If the institution or student-athlete proves it is more likely than not that any substantiated problem with the collection or testing procedures materially affects a sample’s integrity, the drug test appeal subcommittee may find that no doping violation has occurred.
  2. Knowledge Challenge. The student-athlete is responsible for all substances consumed. However, if the institution or the student-athletes demonstrates that the student-athlete was not aware they had been administered (defined as placed into the student-athlete’s system directly or through food and drink) a substance by another person that later is found to have contained a banned ingredient, then the drug test appeal committee may determine that no violation has occurred. In this situation, the student-athlete must show that her or she both did not know and could not reasonably have known or suspected (even with the exercise of utmost caution) that he or she had been administered by a third party a substance that is later found to have contained a banned ingredient. Or if the institution or the student-athlete demonstrates that the student-athlete asked specific and reasonable questions about a particular substance, medication or product of the appropriate athletics administrator and the athletics administrator assured the inquiring student-athlete the substance does not contain a banned ingredient, then the drug test appeal committee may determine that no violation has occurred. In this situation, the student-athlete must show that he or she both did not know and could not reasonably have known or suspected (even with the exercise of utmost caution) the information provided by staff was erroneous. In the case where the substance, medication or product reviewed and approved for use by the institution does contain a banned substance, this may result in an institutional violation.
  3. Reduction of Penalty Based on Mitigating Factors. The following will not be considered mitigating factors in a drug test appeal: the type or amount of banned substance detected through the drug test; evidence of the student-athlete’s good character; the degree of remorse demonstrated by the student-athlete; family hardship or history of family dysfunction; and the degree to which the banned substance may or may not affect athletic performance.
    The drug test appeal committee may reduce the current legislative sanction to the first 50 percent of the regular season in all sports if the season of competition has not yet begun for that student-athlete or a minimum of the equivalent of the next 50 percent of a season of competition in all sports if the student-athlete tests positive during his or her season of competition when circumstances might indicate a reduction is warranted.
    For example: Where it is shown that the institution’s drug education program was inadequate and such shortcomings influenced the student-athlete’s judgment regarding the propriety of taking a specific product (a reduction of penalty normally will not be available in the case of admitted street drug use); or
    A student-athlete’s inability to discern he or she was using a banned substance was due to circumstances beyond the student-athlete’s control.
  4. Every attempt will be made to disseminate to the subcommittee any written materials submitted by the institution and received by Drug Free Sport regarding the appeal.
  5. The institution, within two business days of the confirmation of the positive drug test, shall submit the request for an appeal. The institution, within 45 days of the confirmation of the positive drug test, must submit required documentation. At least five business days before the scheduled appeal, the institution is required to submit to Drug Free Sport a written summary describing the institution’s drug education program and the grounds for the appeal.
  6. The chair of the subcommittee or designee will open the telephone conference appeal by inviting the institution and its representatives and/or the student-athlete and his or her representatives to provide orally any information they wish to have before the subcommittee. The subcommittee prefers the student-athlete present his or her information immediately after any introductory statements made by the Director of Athletics. Opportunity will be given to all parties to have questions asked and answered.
  7. Following the presentation by the institution and the question and answer period, the chair will ask the institution and any drug testing consultants to leave the telephone conference and at that time the subcommittee will deliberate and render a decision. The NCAA staff will contact the Director of Athletics to report the subcommittee’s decision as soon as possible. It is the institution’s responsibility to inform the student-athlete.
  8. In the event the appeal is accepted and the student-athlete is not sanctioned, no further action regarding the student-athlete’s eligibility need be taken. In the event the subcommittee denies the appeal and imposes a sanction, the provisions of NCAA Bylaw 18.4.1.5.1 will result in either a one-year loss of eligibility and being withheld from one full season of competition in all sports, or the student-athlete being withheld from the next 50 percent of the season of competition in all sports.
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