Oklahoma State softball coach Kenny Gajewski bothered by process for drug testing at WCWS
Speaking on Saturday night, Oklahoma State softball coach Kenny Gajewski shined a light on a situation that led to star pitcher Kelly Maxwell being kept at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium for drug testing several hours after the team's first-round victory at the Women’s College World Series on Thursday.
Maxwell was one of five OSU players selected for the NCAA’s random drug testing following the 4-2 win over Arizona, which concluded at roughly 11:35 p.m.
Gajewski was not bothered by the random testing, which can occur unannounced at any NCAA championship event. But the process by which it was handled, resulting in Maxwell’s late return to the hotel, was his point of contention.
Because her initial sample was too diluted, Maxwell had to remain at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium to produce a second sample. She did not return to the team hotel until 3:15 a.m. on Friday, missing the team meal.
“She went, she gave a sample immediately,” Gajewski said. “Like all of us know when you're out till 3 — she got back at 3:15. Now you have to shower, unwind, get to bed. It's a 4, 4:30 proposition.
“I'm not mad at anyone. I just know this process needs to probably be looked at to see if we maybe can do it in the mornings of game days or something. The first games, no problem, right? They are done. But we have a long game, we start a half an hour late, then we go through this deal. It's rough.”
Thursday’s game was originally scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. first pitch, but started shortly before 9 p.m.
“If you can imagine these kids sweat like crazy and they hydrate all game long,” Gajewski said. “So her sample was diluted, OK? Explain that stuff. It's wild. I don't know what we want them to be, but her sample is diluted, so now she has to sit here and try to pee again.
“I don't know if you've ever had to drug test, but it's not fun. People are staring at you. You're doing that. You're trying to test. You're tired. It's 12:00. She got back to the hotel at 3:15.”
The Cowgirls had Friday off after winning on Thursday. However, that day off was only possible because of a change made by the NCAA to the WCWS schedule prior to this season. Otherwise, OSU would have been playing Friday night.
“Everything is disrupted in the biggest stage that we have,” Gajewski said. “So I think we just have to take a look at this. If we don't talk about this kind of stuff here, it will never get changed. I know the committee is working their tails off.
“These girls are important, they are highly talented, they are wound tight, their muscles are wound tight, they're fit and strong. When you disrupt rest on these type of kids at this point in a year, it really has a negative impact that can really last. So I just want to make sure that her voice is heard. She's not going to say a word.
“I think that's a process that we need to address and take a look at, a hard look at.”