Phoenix police pioneered an anti-doping policy that took hold in police agencies across the country when the department implemented random steroid testing nine years ago, but the agency suddenly and quietly shut the program down last year, reports the Arizona Republic. Department administrators cited excessive costs and test results that were muddled by the prevalence of legal supplements and testosterone that was legally prescribed to officers.
In 2006, Phoenix became the first major city in the nation to add anabolic steroids to the list of illegal substances to be randomly screened from its ranks. Police were juicing to get a leg up on the criminals, but rumors and unflattering media reports tied the practice to “roid rage.” Random testing for steroids remains in some agencies in the region, including Mesa, which runs a monthly lottery screening program. Experts say there is no reason to believe the use of performance enhancers is any less common today than it was a decade ago.