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Saturday, January 20, 2018

DCHS alters athlete drug testing schedule to catch students off-guard

By Anthony Varriano

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Dawson County High School Principal Wade Murphy confirmed that drug screening of DCHS students was conducted after the winter sports seasons started so students couldn’t prepare for the tests. 

Testing began on Monday and was completed Wednesday. Practices for basketball and wrestling started on Nov. 17. 

Murphy said a law enforcement officer told the administration that he felt some kids were “dirty” but were finding ways around the test, so Murphy and athletic director Ryan Buckley decided to make the timing of the drug tests unknown so students couldn’t prepare.

Glendive Police Chief Brad Mitchell said he didn’t provide a recommendation, and, to his knowledge, neither did anyone under his command, but he did say that discussions are regularly held with the school districts’ administration that could have influenced the decision.

“There are general discussions about what Montana is seeing statewide,” he said. “We get information all the time about the pros and cons and what-ifs, so that could be a reason.”

Sheriff Ross Canen was not available for comment.

When Murphy was asked on Tuesday why drug screenings had not been conducted, he originally said it was due to “scheduling issues.” 

Joy Burman of Bee Tested, LLC, the firm hired by the school district to conduct the testing, confirmed that she conducted the screenings this week.

 

Reach Anthony Varriano at rrsports@rangerreview.com.

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