As you may well know, in 2011, the ASP made the decision to implement drug testing for this season. Now that we're at the halfway point of 2012 and nearing the ASP's mid-season, we haven't heard much about the actual drug testing. At the time the decision was made, pro surfing's governing body was in a whirlwind of controversy surrounding the accidental crowing of Kelly Slater's eleventh world title one round too early and the resignation of ASP CEO Brodie Carr.
In this case, one can assume that no news is good news.
"Testing has gone according to plan this season and there have been no major issues thus far," the ASP's international media director, Dave Prodan told ESPN. "Testing locations are confidential and selected competitors are chosen at random. All selected competitors have cooperated fully with the testing this season."
The ASP'S Anti-Doping Policy follows the guidelines suggested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for surfers, officials and ASP staff. No one can argue that much of surfing's past history (and color) is tied to illegal contraband, trafficking, and parties of epic proportions. Drugs played into the story of the sad and untimely death of three-time World Champ, Andy Irons in 2010. In 2005, Brazilian Neco Padaratz was suspended from competition when he tested positive for steroids. To our knowledge, this was an isolated performance-enhancing incident in surfing.
Drug testing not only lines surfing up with more established sports, and nudges it closer to the Olympics, (something that the International Surfing Association has been pushing for with unmatched fervor for fifteen years) it also portrays surfing in a more professional light, in an age where the industry and many top ranked pros are pushing for just that. The Surf Industry Manufacturer's Association (SIMA) was also very much behind the decision, and wrote a letter to the ASP board suggesting WADA's policy.
"We haven't had too much media attention around the ASP Anti-Doping Policy and subsequent testing outside of passing interest during the opening event of the year," added Prodan. "The ASP's Anti-Doping policy has, since its inception, been something that surfers, events and administrators agree is a necessary step in growing the sport and all parties have been cooperative in the process."