New Milford officials surprised by steroid ring arrests
New Milford officials and coaches this week expressed surprise at the arrests of four men who federal authorities say were selling steroids and/or marijuana in the area, including to high school athletes.
"My heart breaks,'' Ms. Faulenbach related, when she thinks about dealers allegedly targeting high school-age youth.
"This is a crazy world we live in," she added.
New Milford High School has a general substance abuse policy that includes steroids, but the school does no drug testing, officials said.
However, Chuck Lynch, the head football coach at NMHS, said he can "confidently say that none of my players has ever used steroids."
Mr. Lynch added that "every coach in the area should... really start to educate his or her players."
Mr. Lynch noted that all Connecticut coaches are mandated by the CIAC to attend a 30-hour seminar at which "detrimental effects of steroids and danger signs" are explained.
New Milford High wrestling coach Chris Piel likewise expressed skepticism that local wrestlers are using steroids.
"I'm 38 years old, I've been (involved with wrestling) since I was 10 years old, I've never seen one situation where somebody was using steroids," Mr. Piel said. "Not one. It's just not something that coincides with the sport."
But other people in the area whose jobs involve spending time with teenagers say they've either suspected steroid use or had firsthand knowledge of past cases.
Dorrie Carolan, cofounder of Newtown Parent Connection, a grassroots organization of concerned parents and citizens that addresses substance abuse, said she was not surprised by the arrests.
"I'm not surprised that there is steroid use,'' she said after hearing of the arrests. "I am surprised it is being sold locally.
"I know it was being bought online," Ms. Carolan said. "I am shocked that someone would target high school kids."
Ridgefield psychotherapist Liz Jorgensen said she sees a wave of kids every fall who are bulking up for sports by using steroids.
"It's not surprising," she observed. "I would say it's persistently a problem."
New Milford Police Lt. Larry Ash said his department had no involvement in the investigation.