Track team caught using performance enhancing drugs - WNEM TV 5

Track team caught using performance enhancing drugs

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The Michigan state track meet over the weekend was missing a Mid-Michigan relay team because the team was caught using performance enhancing drugs.    

The students were members of Durand High School's track team and it was a season to remember up until a couple weeks ago.

"Whoever gave the performance enhancement drugs probably didn't realize it was illegal," Barry Gross said.

Residents had mixed opinions after hearing about local high school students' use of a banned performance enhancement substance.

"I'm sure whoever did it feels completely and horribly bad about it. For the kids it's a tragedy because they don't get to go to state," Gross said.

Gross has set up shop as owner of the Itchi-Bon Uptown Bakery in Durand for more than two decades. He finds this high school scandal heartbreaking.

"Growing up in this community myself, it really stinks for them. I would put my arm around them and tell them it stinks," Gross said.

Durand's athletic director said he found evidence that at least two track athletes took the pre-workout formula known as C4 Extreme. It remains unclear whether students knew they were taking a banned substance.  

C4 Extreme contains an ingredient that's banned by the Durand schools, the NCAA and the NFL.

"Rules are rules and unfortunately, MHSA is pretty strict and that's probably a good thing," Gross said.

A pharmacist said an ingredient in the pre-workout formula can increase risk for heart attacks.

"This is an unfortunate situation. We conducted an investigation and took the action that was necessary," Superintendent Cindy Weber said in an email.

The school took away points earned from players using the performance enhancements and immediately suspended all athletic activities. That includes a trip to the state finals.

Meanwhile, residents are divided over whether the student punishment fits the crime.

"I think it's rather stupid. They should be allowed to go to state," June Harvey said.

While drug testing is being expanded on the professional and college level, most states do not drug test high school athletes.

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