Schwarzenegger Signs Calif. High School Sports Supplement Bill

October 10, 2005

2 Min Read
Schwarzenegger Signs Calif. High School Sports Supplement Bill

SACRAMENTO, Calif.--As the deadline for bill activity loomed, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB37 into law on Oct. 7, making it illegal for high school athletes to take certain dietary supplements, including synephrine, ephedra and DHEA. The new law will also establish a list of banned substances and requires students, who already sign a pledge not to take steroids, to also vow not to use outlawed supplements. The legislation further commands coaches to undertake training on the dangers of performance-enhancing supplements and steroids, and prohibits nutritional supplement manufacturers from sponsoring any school events.

Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year, calling it vague and expressing concerns that the law would also ban supplements he deems beneficial for students, especially athletes. A few months later, he was publicly criticized for his financial involvement with muscle magazines tied to supplement companies, relationships he officially terminated in response.

On a day when he signed and vetoed countless other bills, the governor provided no comments on SB37 and took no questions on the matter. However, Margita Thompson, the governors press secretary, told reporters Schwarzenegger signed SB37 because it was more specific than last years version. She dismissed any notion that the governor bowed to pressure in signing SB37 and noted the governor rejected last years version because it did not give clear directions to the state agencies charged with overseeing the list of banned supplements. She said SB37 solved this issue by tying the list to an existing one maintained by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The dietary supplement industry--including Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA)--which had waged an intense opposition to the bill, reacted with disappointment and reaffirmation of its collective belief the bill is misaligned and unjustly opens the door for high school-level prohibition of all supplements, including vitamins and minerals.

However, certain parents groups, political watchdogs and the bills sponsor praised the bills passage. "I'm delighted that the governor has recognized the pivotal role he can play in teaching teen athletes to avoid steroids and dangerous performance-enhancing dietary supplements," said Sen. Jackie Speier, the bills author. "This bill is an outstanding model for other states grappling with the growing problem of steroids and performance-enhancing supplement abuse by teen athletes."

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