ASP Anti-Doping Policy

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The new ASP anti-drug policies aim to correct past oversights.

by Jonathan Spielman, Staff Writer

The ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) is implementing a stricter anti-doping policy that will test surfers at random at each tour stop for recreational drugs and/or performance-enhancing drugs.

In past years, surfers were interviewed on if they have been drug tested and, if so, how frequently. Kelly Slater, eleven time world champion, was quoted as saying that he only took one drug test last season. Steph Gilmore, current women’s world champion, said she wasn’t tested at all during 2012.

Recently, ASP urged their surfers not to talk to the media (I wonder why?). Surfers who did comment on the topic were anonymous.  One surfer said, “I think that if they [the ASP] say they’re gonna test, they should do it all the way. I can’t see any positive effects recreational drugs would have on your surfing, but if there’s a surfer that’s taking performance enhancers and I lose to him, I’d be pissed.”

It’s good that ASP is going to be more persistent on testing their athletes, but the question is why they waited until now. That alone has created concerns, and it’s not the first time the ASP has upset their surfers. Back in September 15, 2011 Bobby Martinez was banned from ASP world tour surfing due to a harsh comment regarding the change in ranking policy.

For the future ASP should seek out to make sure that their policies are carried out. This is not only to make the contests fare, but to bring a more formal and professional aspect to the competitive surfing world. Just like all other sport organizations there has to be rules and regulations not only for the act of playing that sport but in the expectations of the elite athletes of that sport.