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Cal Poly Announces New Drug Testing Policy

Cal Poly is acting swiftly after five football players were recently arrested for their alleged involvement in a recent armed robbery at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity on California Boulevard in San Luis Obispo. The move was announced just one day after news broke regarding the arrests. Among those arrested was the team’s top offensive player, senior slotback and preseason all-Big Sky Conference selection Kristaan Ivory. Other players arrested include: Cameron Akins, Dominique Love, Cortland Fort and Jake Brito.

In light of the incident, the university is changing its approach with drug testing. Previously, all student-athletes were subject to random tests for illegal street drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana. Under the new policy, the entire football team will be tested. In addition, the test will also screen for prescription drugs that are abused, such as benzodiazepine, an ingredient used in the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong said in a statement the testing will determine if a drug problem currently exists within the football program. “As soon as that process is complete — and through consultation with University Police, city police and the county’s Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office — Cal Poly will conduct a thorough examination into possible illegal drugs and criminal activity within our football program and on campus,” said Armstrong.

Athletic Director Don Oberhelman said the new, more thorough drug test will cost about $100, an increase of $50 more than the previous test. As a result, it will cost nearly $10,000 to administer the test to every player on the Cal Poly football roster.

All 560 student-athletes at Cal Poly will be subjected to the new drug testing policy, although not all will be tested. While the entire football team will be tested, all other student-athletes will be tested only randomly, which is the same policy used previously. However, those student-athletes from other sports will also be subjected to the newer, stricter test that screens for prescription drugs.

“We just want to make sure that we don’t have a further issue and I think this will help us identify if we do or not,” said Obhelsman. “And I think the first thing we do by bringing in student-athletes is say, see what’s in your system and it sends a great message to the campus community is that we are taking this very, very seriously and it sends a message to our student-athletes that we’re taking this very seriously.”

All of the five players arrested have posted bail, but no charges have yet to be filed. There is a tentative date for their arraignment on August 25th. All five remained suspended from the team.

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