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ESL Announces Drug Testing Criteria

In a follow up to ESL’s announcement confirming drug testing at events, including their partnerships with WADA and NADA, they released a post on Reddit including responses for questions from the community. See full details below.


What are the substances ESL will be testing for?

There is a list of prohibited substances which was defined by WADA and NADA use. We are going to refer to this list to establish what is forbidden to use at our events. This means that no player should take drugs/medication that contain ingredients from this list, as this may cause them turning in positive tests results.

How will ESL be testing?

While choosing the kind of test we want to use, we had to consider a couple of important factors. How invasive the method of testing is, and how reliable will the results be, and how quickly will we get them? We initially announced we will be working with skin tests, but upon further investigation and consultation with the authorities, we came to the conclusion that saliva tests are better fit.

Tests will be performed at our discretion at any time during tournament days, and will take place in a designated testing area. Naturally, player’s privacy comes first.

Will everyone be tested?

ESL One Cologne will only see randomized tests, however we don’t want to exclude the possibility of performing a larger number of tests among all/majority of players at a later stage. Should the testing policy and method change, we will inform the players accordingly.

What if a player has a legitimate prescription for medication (such as Adderall) containing one or more of the banned substances?

In this case, they have to disclose this to us as soon as possible, but no later than the first match is scheduled to start. They will be required to provide proof (a letter from a physician, for example) that they need this specific medication.

Is ESL prohibiting the usage of marijuana?

During the competition, we are. Marijuana is on the list of prohibited substances for during the competition. This means that recreational use of it outside (before) the event days will not be punished. Using it during the tournament – from the start of the first day until the end of the last day of competition – is strictly prohibited.

What happens if a player tests positive?

The punishments range from getting prize money/tournament points deducted, to disqualification and up to a two year ban from ESL events. We will look at each case separately and once again ensure player’s full privacy.

Source—— ESLAnna (Reddit)

I think that the ESL is taking a definitive step in the right direction with this announcement. By using the saliva testing methodology, they allow their competitors the freedom to do whatever they want within the confines of their own training but they need to be straight and sober during competitions. Most drugs are not present using saliva testing between 12 and 24 hours after consumption, so competitors need only to abstain for a minimum of 1 day before the tournaments start and they will be fine.

Alternatively, they have given the ability for those competitors who need to be on the medications for legitimate reasons the opportunity to speak with their medical professional and obtain documentation stating they need to be on the drug. I highly doubt that medicinal marijuana will be on the list of “I need this for my health”, but definitely people who are on Adderall by prescription will be able to continue competing.

David Alberto is a Contributing Editor for You can often find him making people cry in Counter-Strike. Roll percentile dice to see if his opinions change, your chances are slim.

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