It was announced a couple weeks ago that the Electronic Sports League has decided to start drug testing competitors following an admission from one player that he had been using Adderall during a recent tournament win. The ESL has now detailed the policy, including what substances are banned and what substances are only banned some of the time.
In an extensive post to the Counter Strike: Global Offensive Reddit group ESL Head of Communication Anna Rozwandowicz outlined the new policy.
First off, all random testing will be done via saliva swab. It’s deemed easier to administer than a urine test, and more accurate than a skin patch test.
The list of banned of substances comes from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and can be found here. The list includes all the things you would expect to see banned at any sporting competition. Anabolics, pain killers, anti-depressants, diuretics and masking agents, amphetamines and methamphetamines and heroin, cocaine, etc.
If a competitor has a legitimate medical need for a banned substance they must provide written confirmation from a physician prior to the first match of a competition.
The WADA differentiates between substances banned at all times and those only banned during competition. For this reason marijuana is only prohibited during the competition itself. Recreational use before and after is acceptable. This makes sense as the drug is legal in a couple of US states as well as a handful of other countries.
Punishments will be dealt with on a case by case basis and range from a deduction of prize money or tournament points, to up to a two-year ban.
The announcement comes one week ahead of the ESL One Cologne event in Germany where these rules will be implemented for the first time. These sorts of things rarely go smoothly the first time but for the most part people seem to be supportive of the new policy. While there are some questions and concerns, the conversation appears to be mostly civil (especially for Reddit).