CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A West Virginia high school sports official said he didn't know that a Kanawha City motel recently had been contaminated by methamphetamine before placing a boys basketball team there Thursday night.
Four team members from the Martinsburg High School boys basketball team were taken to CAMC General Hospital and later released after being exposed to meth at the Motel 6 on MacCorkle Avenue Southeast, said Gary Ray, executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission.
On Jan. 30, Charleston police discovered a meth lab inside Room 319 after they were called there for reports of a small fire. The room's occupants had fled the scene before officers arrived, according to reports.
Brandon Lewis, coordinator of the state Bureau of Public Health, said he ordered the room closed and for motel officials to inspect adjacent rooms for meth contamination. He said 17 of the motel's 118 rooms were closed.
On Thursday, players on the Martinsburg boys team checked into the motel in preparation for Friday's 2012 State High School Basketball Championships.
Lewis said he discovered Thursday that at least four boys were placed in room 215, a room that had been ordered closed because of contamination. The four boys were treated at the hospital as a precaution and released with a clean bill of health, Ray said.
On Friday, Lewis discovered that several more previously cleared rooms had been exposed to meth. He shut down the entire motel Friday evening while Simon Environmental, a Jackson County-based company, cleaned up.
Ray said that if he had known about the meth issues at the motel, he would not have allowed the team to stay there.
"I hate to be overly critical of the motel," he said, "but I wish they had said there were issues like that before we checked in."
Ray said there is a list of motels, including Motel 6, which the SSAC cooperates with for tournament events and away games.
Numbers are drawn at random to decide which teams will stay at which motels, he said.
Lewis said it's difficult to determine if the Jan. 30 meth lab is what contaminated the room. He said it's possible that a guest or employee had smoked meth inside the room before the boys arrived.
A report from the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team said Charleston police had been called to the motel at least four times in the past two years for drug-related offenses.