Sun Devil Athletics Manual (SDA)

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Effective: 1/1/1989

Revised: 11/28/2017

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SDA 405: Student-Athlete Drug Education and Testing

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To explain the university’s student–athlete drug education and testing policy

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Sun Devil Athletics

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The priority for Arizona State University is to provide a safe, healthy environment and culture for all student-athletes. ASU’s Department of Sun Devil Athletics (SDA) focuses on supporting a student-athlete’s educational and personal success. To this end, the following Drug Education and Testing policy has at its core an effort to reinforce consequences and reward personal growth and educational triumph. The drug policy seeks to:

  1. protect the health, safety, and welfare of all student-athletes
  2. maintain the integrity of the athletic program by emphasizing abstinence from the use of unauthorized controlled substances and alcohol
  3. educate student-athletes on the physical, psychological, social, and legal consequences of substance abuse (see SDA 405A)
  4. provide an early detection system for student-athletes who have an issue with alcohol or drug use (SDA 405 A, B, C), and provide intervention and treatment


  5. provide an even level of play in intercollegiate athletics.

The policy is heavily focused on education through interaction with medical and psychological professionals. It provides student-athletes with available resources to participate in learning more about personal issues such as alcohol, drug, and dietary supplement usage. It is recognized that since drug and alcohol abuse is a serious social and health problem in today’s society, it is critical for student-athletes to learn immediately upon entering ASU that the use or abuse of certain drugs can be a severe detriment to their general health, educational success, as well as their athletic performance and the well-being of fellow teammates and competitors.

While ASU cannot ensure that all student-athletes will refrain from the use of alcohol, drugs, and dietary supplement usage, it is incumbent upon SDA to reduce the likelihood of use, abuse, and dependence. The following drug education and screening policy procedures for ASU student-athletes are designed in an attempt to provide primary prevention through education and intervention if/when a student-athlete uses any banned substance. In whole, these procedures provide student-athletes with the opportunity to learn about the effects of certain drugs, reduce the impact of alcohol/drugs on their lives, and participate in a drug-free environment.

This policy has been reviewed and approved by appropriate Arizona State University personnel. ASU reserves the right to change this policy when necessary. The SDA Drug Education and Testing Policy establishes fundamental standards for and expectations of all student-athletes regarding drug/alcohol use or abuse. Coaches may establish team rules that are more restrictive and in those sports student athletes will be held to that standard.

Wellness and Substance Abuse Education

Education Program

SDA will conduct a health and wellness education program for all student-athletes at least once a semester to educate ASU student-athletes regarding student-athlete health and wellness. As part of this health and wellness education program, SDA will educate ASU student-athletes about the harmful effects of the use of drugs, the ASU student-athlete drug prevention, testing, and treatment program, and those elements required by the NCAA for drug education programs (see SDA 405D). The health and wellness education program will be reviewed and approved by the vice president for University Athletics on an annual basis.

Use of Tobacco

In accordance with NCAA policy, the use of tobacco products is prohibited by all student-athletes and all game personnel (including, but not limited to, coaches, athletic trainers, managers, and game officials) in all sports during practice and competition.

Substance Abuse Treatment and Services

Clinical Treatment Team (CTT)

The CTT is an interdisciplinary team that ensures timely assessment of substance use concerns and development of individualized treatment recommendations for each student-athlete. The CTT also closely monitors each student-athlete’s compliance and progress in treatment and revises treatment recommendations as needed. Members of the CTT include:

  1. the head team physician
  2. other designated ASU Health Services (ASUHS) physicians
  3. and

  4. ASU Counseling Services psychologists and/or counselors.

The CTT may coordinate care with ASUHS contracted substance abuse specialty providers in the community to provide care for the student-athletes.

Student-Athlete Care Coordination Team (SACCT)

The SACCT reviews treatment recommendations submitted by the CTT and coordinates implementation of approved treatment plans. Members of the SACCT include:

  1. the head team physician
  2. other designated ASUHS physicians
  3. ASU Counseling Services psychologists and/or counselors
  4. a member of the ASU athletic training staff


  5. the senior associate athletic director and other designated senior, associate and assistant athletic directors.

All Substance Abuse Treatment Plans will be available to the vice president for University Athletics for periodic review.

Student-Athlete Voluntary Request for Evaluation and Treatment

All student-athletes may voluntarily request substance abuse evaluation and the CTT will meet to develop a treatment plan with the student-athlete. A student who makes a voluntary request for evaluation and treatment will be considered to be in the Safe Harbor Program described below. The student-athlete should make the request to a team physician.

Safe Harbor Program

A student-athlete who

  1. voluntarily requests substance abuse evaluation and treatment
  2. has not been informed that he or she will be drug-tested


  3. has not received a positive drug test

will be provided with a period of thirty (30) days from the communication of a substance abuse treatment plan from the CTT to the student-athlete (the “Safe Harbor Period”) during which the student-athlete will not be included in the list of students eligible for random drug testing by SDA Sports Medicine. The CTT will notify the SACCT that the student-athlete is in the Safe Harbor Program and the SACCT will assist the student-athlete in care coordination. To remain in the Safe Harbor Program, the student-athlete must comply with the treatment program developed by the CTT as demonstrated by the following minimum criteria:

  1. attending scheduled appointments with physicians, counselors, psychologists as part of the developed CTT treatment plan
  2. declining levels of banned drugs during prescribed testing and non-use of any masking agents during testing


  3. active participation/adherence with the treatment program.

If a student-athlete is determined by the CTT to be out of compliance with any of the above, the CTT will notify the SACCT and the student-athlete will be removed from the Safe Harbor Program. The student-athlete will then be tested by SDA for banned substances as outlined in the Drug Testing section of this policy with any positive testing meeting the criteria for consequences of a first positive test.

Notwithstanding anything in this policy, student-athletes in the Safe Harbor Program may be selected for drug testing by the NCAA or other organizations and remain subject to all applicable NCAA sanctions and requirements.

Mandatory Student-Athlete Treatment for Substance Abuse

In the event that a student-athlete has a positive drug test:

  1. the CTT will prepare a treatment plan for that student-athlete
  2. the CTT will share the treatment plan with the SACCT for assistance in implementation
  3. the CTT will regularly communicate to the SACCT an assessment of the student-athlete’s compliance with treatment and progress toward treatment goals as measured by objective and subjective factors
  4. the student-athlete will be subject to the sanctions identified in 405A


  5. the student-athlete’s failure to adhere to any part of the treatment program (appointments, counseling sessions, etc.) subject the student-athlete to sanctions up to and including immediate suspension from practice and/or competition.

Knowledge of Banned Drugs

Any SDA personnel who have knowledge of a student-athlete’s use at any time of a substance on the list of NCAA banned drugs (see SDA 405D) will promptly report such information to the vice president for University Athletics so that institutional procedures dealing with substance abuse may be implemented. Failure to promptly report such information to the vice president for University Athletics will be subject to disciplinary or corrective action (NCAA Bylaw 10.2).

Drug Testing

Frequency of Drug Testing

Drug testing may occur throughout the calendar year, including during the summer. For testing administered by or on behalf of ASU, SDA personnel will notify student-athletes and head coaches of scheduled drug testing dates and times.

Random Drug Tests

Student-athletes are subject to random drug testing. SDA may also test students based upon “just cause” or reasonable suspicion that drug testing may produce evidence of drug use (see SDA 405C).

Drug Testing Procedures

SDA will establish written procedures for drug tests to be administered to student-athletes including signing drug test consent forms in accordance with NCAA policy (see SDA 405B, and F).

Positive Drug Test

For purposes of this policy, the term “positive drug test” will mean:

For those not in a prescribed treatment program:
  1. a test showing the presence of a drug identified in SDA 405D, where the drug test was administered by or on behalf of ASU, by or on behalf of the NCAA, or by any organization in connection with any university-sanctioned or supported event at which the student-athlete is representing ASU (and the test reflects the presence of a banned substance at a level banned by the NCAA
  2. a test that has been purposely altered by the use of masking or other agents


  3. failure to participate in scheduled SDA required testing.
For those already in a prescribed treatment program where student-athletes may be subject to weekly or other frequency of drug testing:
  1. a test that has been purposely altered by the use of masking or other agents


  2. failure to participate in scheduled SDA required testing.

As part of a prescribed treatment program, student-athletes will be subject to regular testing. During the course of the treatment program, the level of banned substance should decrease. If the level of banned substance does not decrease, or a new banned substance is detected, the student-athlete will be immediately suspended from all practice and competition until levels again show a decline. Student-athletes failure to adhere to any part of the treatment program (appointments, counseling sessions, etc.) will be subject to immediate suspension from practice and/or competition.

Drug Test Results

The CTT, SACCT, the vice president for University Athletics, the head athletic trainer, the student’s head coach, the team physician, and the student’s parent or guardian may be informed of:

  1. a positive drug test


  2. the establishment of a Substance Abuse Treatment Plan for a student-athlete.

The certified athletic trainer assigned to that sport may also be notified, if medically appropriate. The assistant coach(es) may also be informed at the discretion of the head coach. Other university employees may be informed only to the extent necessary for the implementation of this policy.

Opportunity for Removal of a Positive Test

After the first positive test, if a student-athlete passes all testing for the subsequent year (12 calendar months) and follows all prescribed treatment, the student-athlete’s first positive test will be removed from their record.

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Some manual exhibits are available only in PDF format. An Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in is required to view these PDF files. See our main policies and procedures page if you require this plug-in.

SDA 405A, Consequences of Positive Tests
SDA 405B, Drug Testing Procedures
SDA 405C, Reasonable Suspicion
SDA 405D, NCAA Banned Drugs
SDA 405E, Appeals Process
SDA 405F, Drug Testing/Screening Policy Consent

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