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Beginning in November, the US military is set to introduce random drug tests for its special forces, targeting the use of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
Rear Admiral Keith Davids, the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, confirmed the decision on Friday, stressing the need to ensure both the health of soldiers and the readiness of military units. The Navy will pioneer this effort in November, with the US Army Special Operations Command expressing intentions to implement a similar policy shortly after. However, a specific start date remains unspecified.
Under the upcoming program, four military units will be chosen for random monthly tests, targeting 15% of each unit, potentially impacting up to 200 sailors every month. Positive results could lead to disciplinary actions or force removal.
The tests will involve two urine samples from each sailor, with one being analyzed by a leading sports medicine lab and the other by the Navy’s own drug screening facility.
This decision to implement random testing follows concerns after the death of a Navy SEAL candidate, Kyle Mullen, in 2021. Although no performance-enhancing drugs were detected in Mullen’s system, subsequent investigations revealed an underlying issue with drug usage among elite commando hopefuls, prompting calls for stricter testing measures.