Duke toughens penalties for steroids violations

DURHAM, N.C. -- Student athletes at Duke who test positive
for steroids will have to sit out of competition for a year, while
a second offense will result in lost eligibility, the school
announced Thursday.

The changes come after allegations last spring of steroid use by
former baseball players. Bill Hillier, who compiled a 121-214
record in six years, resigned as coach a month after two former
Duke players told the university newspaper that they used steroids while
playing for the school.

Those players and others have said Hillier suggested that they
use steroids. Hillier has denied the allegations.

The new policy goes into place immediately. Evidence of blood
doping or masking agents and refusal to take or attempts to
manipulate a test are treated as positive tests, the school said.

The new rules also call for treatment and counseling for
athletes who test positive for illegal drugs or any other substance
banned by the NCAA. Athletes who flunk a second test for such drugs
would be suspended for at least half of a season, while a third
offense would result in a permanent ban from competition.

The previous policy did not distinguish between steroids and
other drugs, said James E. Coleman Jr., a Duke law professor who
headed the committee that recommended the changes.

The policy also allows for unannounced drug testing for players
in all of Duke's 26 varsity programs.