Sophomore Sophie Beck’s toned muscles ripple as she swings her driver and follows her ball down the fairway. Adrenaline courses through her veins, almost inhumanly. Sophie does not yet know that she will be forbidden from playing the sport of golf for the rest of her high school career. In late February, the entire Pace varsity girls golf team was exposed for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
“It was just some light doping,” said freshman Lauren O’Sullivan. “I don’t really see what the big deal is.” The use of steroids is explicitly prohibited by the GHSA rules and by-laws, specifically outlined in Appendix 8, clause 12b. “No players under any circumstance may use drugs or enhancers of any kind, except Luden’s Cough Drops in emergency situations,” according to the GHSA.
Some of the blame can be put on head coach Tim Walsh. “Yeah, I read the rules, but I still thought the team needed that extra sparkle to get the show going,” said Coach Walsh. “We had a rough start to the season, and the drugs seemed to bring the success that we have always wanted.” Assuming the girls on the team knew the rules, they were deliberately breaking them and taking a walk on the wild side.
“I have been to every golf practice and game since I was a freshman,” said girls golf superfan, senior Tom Phillips. “This season, I started to notice something. There was a blossoming fire in their eyes, a tangible rage that fueled their every move.”
According to GHSA investigators’ reports, traces of OxyContin, glue and poppy seed muffins were detected from drug tests of the girls. Acting on an anonymous tip from somewhere on the Lovett school campus, the GHSA confronted the team on Feb. 18 at one of their practices. The question now is whether or not the golf team will ever be able to compete again. “We are fighting for a five year ban, so hopefully we can be back in full swing by 2022,” said Coach Walsh.
“We really just wanted to get noticed by our peers,” said senior golfer Sandy Xie. “Although this is probably not the most constructive way to get the spotlight, look how sick our muscles are.”