Electronic Sports League Will Begin Randomized Drug Testing for Gamers
A recent scandal influenced the Electronic Sports League to introduce policies that discourage pro gamers from taking drugs to enhance their performances.
According to Polygon, the Electronic Sports League has announced that it is implementing randomized drug testing to its professional gamers to try and uphold an even playing field. This decision was made amidst a big controversy where players were supposedly using Adderall to maintain focus and attention while playing in a competitive setting for prolonged periods of time.
Here's what ESL representatives had to say about this randomized testing:
In order to maintain the fair play spirit of our sport, ESL has partnered with NADA (Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, located in Bonn, Germany) to help research and determine an anti-PEDs policy that is fair, feasible and respects the privacy of the players, whilst simultaneously providing conclusive testing results.
The ESL will also meet with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the group that sets standards and coordinates efforts to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs in athletic sports. The ESL hopes to involve WADA in the process of coming up with its policy and enforcing it around the world.
In addition to developing an anti-PED policy, the ESL will create a prevention program that is intended to "ensure players are provided with information and structural support to help them manage the physical and emotional pressure that the highest level of competitive gaming puts on many of them.
This policy change was likely made in response to a video interview (provided below) where pro Counter-Strike player Kory "Semphis" Friesen admitted that he and his fellow players were using Adderall, a drug meant to treat ADHD, during the ESL One Katowice event a few months ago. The ESL can't prove whether or not Semphis' claims were true, so they're not going to pursue any kind of disciplinary actions or investigations on his behalf, but it did spark the change in its policies overall.
The Electronic Sports League will need some time to plan and properly implement this program in a fair manner, but it still intends to try and prevent players from using performance enhancing drugs in the meantime. The ESL is planning to do randomized skin tests at "every event in the Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League competitions," starting with Cologne's ESL One event in August.
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