November 4, 2013
Steroid "readily available" to high school students in Ohio
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A 10 Investigates’ investigation found steroids are ‘readily available’ to high school students in Central Ohio and some athletes have obtained the illegal drugs. A Sunbury man, John C. Kibler, was recently charged with trafficking in steroids and furnishing Oxandrolone (steroids) to a juvenile, according to Delaware County court records obtained by 10 Investigates. Kibler pleaded not guilty to the felony charges earlier this month. His attorney, Anthony Heald, adamantly denied the allegations. Still, 10 Investigates has learned a Big Walnut parent discovered a vial of drugs in the possession of her stepson. That child said that Kibler had given him the drugs, according to a police report obtained by 10 Investigates. A sworn affidavit by a police officer stated that Kibler gave l steroids to at least two Big Walnut wrestlers. That affidavit states at least one of the transactions took place in 2011. According to the officer’s sworn statement, “…while assisting the [athletes] at Big Walnut High School in the weight room…Kibler was supplying the students with a medication to enhance their workout program.” The affidavit also states that the “medication” was confirmed by the Ohio Bureau of Investigation and Identification as “steroids.” The affidavit states that in May of this year, police found another juvenile who got steroids from Kibler. On October 9, Big Walnut sent Kibler telling he was no longer allowed on school property. District Superintendent Steve Mazzi said that the school first became aware of allegations last spring. At that time, the coach and athletic director phoned Kibler and asked him to stay away from campus, Mazzi said. School officials said that they were unaware that Kibler had been suspected of providing steroids to a student at the school in 2011. Other Ohio school students have also been exposed to steroid trafficking said multiple sources. At the Countryside YMCA in Warren County, an alert administrator sniffed out steroid solicitation. “He was selling to a buyer, regardless of what that age was,” said Director Mike Carroll. Carroll called in detectives to go undercover. Months later, a Warren County narcotics task force announced a major bust. The bust netted piles of steroids, handguns and a suspected link to area high schools. “We had information that we had individuals who were selling anabolic steroids to our high school students,” said Warren County Drug Task Force commander John Burke. Burke said the nature of the investigation caused his detectives to pursue high level dealers and therefore his team did not make any arrests at the school. “We were never able to prove that (it was in schools), but I know that it was,” said Burke. A criminal informant who works with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office said that the drugs are available to local students. “From what I’ve seen, it’s pretty much readily available almost anywhere,” said the informant. “High schools, local gyms.” The man has worked as a personal trainer and admits to having used illegal steroids. “I see it in a lot of kids and I can tell you who’s on it and who’s not,” said the informant. “In high schools,” asked investigative reporter Paul Aker. “Yeah, in high school,” the informant said. The informant said it’s not just the kids. “I’ve seen it around coaches. Even school principals,” the informant said. Ohio high schools provide education to students about illegal steroid use. The drugs are also banned. However, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) does not encourage schools to test for the drugs. A spokesman for OHSAA that is due to the cost of testing. Still, an assistant commissioner told 10 Investigates during a recent interview that testing as a deterrent may be worth reconsideration. Deputy Commissioner Jerry Snodgrass said he knows that steroids have filtered to Ohio athletes. “Has any school come forward and said we think we’ve had an issue with steroids,” Aker asked. “Yes. I have had that before in my role as assistant commissioner,” said Snodgrass. “I do think it’s an issue,” Snodgrass said. Snodgrass openly wondered whether schools should be required to budget for testing. “Where are our resources best spent? Are our resources best spent for a larger trophy? Our resources spent taking a team out of state to travel to some premier tournament,” Snodgrass asked rhetorically. “Or, are our resources better spent using it as a deterrent for life long health benefits?” Snodgrass stated that he expected the OHSAA committed that deals with player health issues would consider the issue at its next meeting. Nobody at Big Walnut wanted to discuss the situation on camera but the superintendent told 10 Investigates that Kibler has been notified that he’s not allowed on campus.