Drug testing may put skateboarders off entering the Olympics, a former professional has claimed.
Skateboarding is one of five sports which will be added to the summer Olympics in 2020 when the Games are held in Tokyo. But Australian skateboarding legend Tas Pappas says cannabis use is widespread in the sport which could lead to many talented skateboarders staying away from the competition.
He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that although he didn’t use drugs to skate, others in the sport were regular cannabis users.
He said: “I’m wondering how it’s going to work as far as the drug testing is concerned, because some guys skate really well on weed and if they have to stop smoking for one competition it might really affect their performance. I truly believe you do better sober, but I’ve known guys who couldn’t skate unless they were stoned.”
Contests do not use drug testing
Drug testing is not widespread in existing skateboarding competitions and major contests like the summer X-Games do not check their competitors for substance misuse. This lack of testing has attracted criticism from the International Olympic Committee, which works hard to ensure athletes are not taking banned or illegal substances which could enhance their performance and give them an unfair advantage.
Pappas, who became the skateboarding world champion in 1996, also said skateboarders may not like the idea of competing against other nations from around the world.
Drug testing is used in a number of sporting competitions, including the Olympics, to try and ensure no one is abusing substances. It can also be used by a wide range of companies and organisations to maintain safety in the workplace and discourage staff from taking drugs.
AlphaBiolabs offers workplace drug and alcohol testing to businesses in a variety of industries. Random testing can act as a powerful deterrent while pre-employment screening can help recruiters ensure new staff members do not have a drug dependency issue before they start their job.
Tests can also be carried out as part of an investigation when an incident has occurred or suspicions have been raised about an employee.