ASU Coaches Work To Keep Players Steroid Free

December 6, 2004 – Posted at 3:45 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- With recent allegations of steroid use in Major League Baseball, the issue has once again come to the forefront. But how dangerous is it and what should you look for if your children are using it?

Former professional baseball player Keith Kessinger knows the pressures of being at the top.

"It's a business and guys are trying to do everything they can to make themselves better. Obviously, they are willing to put themselves at risk in order to try to make those gains," said Kessinger.

The former Cincinnati Reds shortstop is now the head coach of the ASU baseball team, and keeping his players steroid free is a priority.

"The NCAA is very, very strict on the policy with drug use, with steroids being part of it. We don't want to loose any of our athletes to failing a test," said Kessinger.

But illegal steroid use is nothing new, it's been used in athletics for years. The coaches at Arkansas State University say they are trying to do their best to make sure their players are drug free.

"It's a random testing program. The guys don't know when or who. The NCAA also can come in and administer that as well. It's seemingly been very effective for us," said Kessinger.

And it maybe that random tests could be the answer to Major League Baseball's problem with steroid use.

Republican Arizona Senator John McCain said, "I'll introduce legislation in January that requires some kind of regimen for testing of Major League Baseball players and I believe that we can pass it through the Congress of the United States."

McCain says it's the role models that need to be responsible.

"The important aspect of this issue is that high school kids all over America believe that this is the only way they can make it," said McCain.

"It's not something that is natural and it's not something that should be done. And I'm sure not everybody is adversely affected by it, but the risk is certainly there that you can do something that will hurt you," said Kessinger.

Symptoms of steroid use include quick muscle and weight gain, behavioral changes, severe acne, aggressive, combative behavior, jaundice, purple or red-colored spots on the body, in the mouth, or a nose rash, swelling of feet or lower legs, trembling, unexplained darkening of the skin and persistent bad breath.