Surf Writer, The Australian
Drugs Pills Nexium

The Association of Surfing Professionals will introduce drug testing of athletes next year. Photo: Shorelander/Wikipedia

The Inertia

The Association of Surfing Professionals will introduce drug testing of athletes from next year.

The decision was made at an ASP board meeting in San Francisco yesterday.

Drugs have been a presence in surfing ever since the world’s best surfers embraced the drop-out counterculture of the 1960s, creating a schism about whether surfing is a competitive or creative pursuit.

Many great surfers died or failed to achieve their potential as a result. Last year, one of the greatest surfers ever, three times world champion Andy Irons, died alone in a hotel room with a cocktail of drugs in his veins, days after prematurely withdrawing form a contest in Puerto Rico.

The ASP has denied having any knowledge of Irons’ drug problem, despite it being the worst kept secret int he sport.

The most recent board meeting has finally decided to test competitors from next year.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Hawaiian event representative Randy Rarick. Details are vague, but the testing is expected to be in place for the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast, the first event for 2012.

At the same meeting, ASP CEO Brodie Carr resigned over the Kelly Slater world-title announcement debacle last week.

Slater was wrongly awarded the 2011 surfing world title after round three of the Rip Curl Pro in San Francisco last week. He was correctly given the trophy a few days later, after round four.

Rarick said Carr wasn’t the only person to offer to resign.

Read the full article by Fred Pawle on The Australian.

  • Sebastian

    Ha – maybe they should start by testing the ASP score keepers!

  • Dandaman

    Excellent News.

  • Al Baydough

    Good to hear. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • martin12

    absolutely disgusting. one step closer to the tennis tour. I mean, why do we care about surfing from the start?  beacuse its a totally diferent sport  from any other.
     since when we started judging how someone surfs, taking into account the fact that he used any drugs? If they used like anabolics or stuff like that, it could be understandable. But not even then, since no surfer on earth would look up to a guy that we know could do something like that.
    For me, the basic stuff about surfing is that  i like the way someone surfs or not. But i don´t care, and don´t want anyone to care, what me or he does with his personal life.

    • Stu

      sorry man, but surfing’s not a sport, it’s a business.

    • Dandaman

      I care about surfing because it’s a fantastic, enjoyable experience. Not because it’s different from any other sport (check AL Baydoughs excellent “rebel” comments on the ‘Not going To Happen’ thread). 
      You’re making assumptions that are well meaning but fuzzy. How do you we know that some surfers haven’t been using anabolics and getting away with it? Neco Padaratz was caught and banned for this a few years back. 
      For better or worse, surfing is growing and with it comes responsibility and accountability. I  believe the reason this rule is being implemented is more to do with the well being of the surfers under the ASP’s care.(long term health and lifestyle rather than short term  performance enhancement). 
      In light of recent tragic events I feel it’s a good decision.

  • Someone

    Drug testing should only be performed in sports where the goal is measurably based on strength.  Why should people who surf well due to coordination, not brute strength, be penalized for doing non-performance enhancing drugs?  It’s an unnecessary intrusion.

    Sure, drugs can kill you and I completely understand testing for doping in things where getting to the end first or lifting the heaviest objects is the goal, but in something as subjective as surfing?  No.  I understand that surfing does require physical strength, mainly to paddle out and catch waves, and I’m pretty sure these guys aren’t using anabolic steroids to paddle out at Ocean Beach.  Just dumb.

  • nobody62

    fyi, the australian newspaper is owned by rupert murdoch & Fred Pawle’s story reflects again the extent of his affliction with “Murdoch-itis” – a condition characterised by writing that makes sweeping, sensational,  negative, melodramatic & highly emotive comments seriously lacking in context or perspective.
    By simply re-publishing Pawle’s article, you are badly undermining The Inertia’s own goal of addressing “topics ranging from surfing to politics to music
    and art with the intention of sharing a diversity of perspectives in an
    online environment that places a premium on constructive critical
    Can anybody from The Inertia or elsewhere point me to where Pawle is demonstrating “constructive critical
    thinking” in this article.
    As somebody who has known & worked with Pawle for 20+ years, inertia readers should understand he has a long history of self-righteous sniping that reeks of some underlying agenda.

    • Deep Throat

      Fred Pawle was the ONLY person remotely ballsy enough to report on Sarge. Credibility: good.

      Look up every real journalist in history, including Woodrow, Bernstein, and Hunter Thompson, and you will find mountains of shit sandwhiched between greatness. That’s how writing goes.

      As for an underlying agenda, how can you accuse Pawle of this when drugs and their connection to the Surf Industry has been well known for decades? If anything you can say, better late than never.

      Name me another sport that lost a three time champ in his prime due to OD?

      Name one.

      If you can, I’m sure it bore much more media coverage than Andys story ever did.

      • Al Baydough

        Strong points and a solid rebuttal; Irons is almost certainly the greatest athlete to have died from drug use but guys like Bunker Spreckles and Butch Van Artsdalen were greats in their time as well, they just didn’t have the benefit of a ratings system to “legitimize” their stature. 

         None of this excuses Murdoch’s hideous behavior and pervasive tendency to take reputable publications and transform them into tabloid trash and propagandistic tripe. What he’s doing to the WSJ is atrocious. It won’t be long before the dominant readership starts “reading it” for the pretty pictures. 

         But hell, anything for a greasy buck, right? This is the land of opportunism after all – we certainly promote it as such. 

    • Azaria lives!

      Underlying? that’s weird- you reckon he has shares in a lab?
      Wow, maybe he works for RipaQickBong?
      Anyway the  story also states that the new ASP  BigBanana will be a “surf” enthusiast.
      What does that mean?
      As long as he is a successful and accomplished business leader. “The guy” it states..
       Note : not businessperson. So chicks stay over there on your beach blankets and simper.
      I don’t know what is funnier- the crude attempts at trying to make surfing mainstream or the selfrighteousness of our “leaders”?
      Where did these self-elected ones get the idea they represent us?

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