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Schwarzenegger Calls for Tough Steroid Tests

from Reuters Health

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, perhaps the world's best known past user of steroids, said on Tuesday that tougher testing is the only way to reduce the use of illegal substances in sport.

"I think one of the most important things is that we have strict and tight controls," the former Mr. Olympia said at his first news conference as governor, in response to a question.

"We in bodybuilding have been having this for years now, for the last 15 years. We're testing the athletes to make sure they are not taking drugs."

A major steroid scandal has been unfolding in California in recent weeks as a San Francisco area laboratory BALCO is under a federal grand jury probe on suspicion of distributing the new previously undetectable steroid THG. Schwarzenegger said it was not an issue for a state governor however.

Even as sports authorities and law enforcement step up the effort to counter steroid use, the advances of science make it a cat-and-mouse game, Schwarzenegger said.

"The big challenge is that for every drug that comes out, there is a new test coming out to detect that drug," he said. "And then the drug companies come out with another new drug that you cannot detect. And then you have to come with research and find ways to detect it again. And by that time a new drug comes out that you cannot detect. That is the challenge."

Schwarzenegger has spoken openly about using steroids during his bodybuilding days and again acknowledged that use in a new interview to accompany the 25th anniversary DVD of the documentary "Pumping Iron" which was released last week.

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