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ESL to begin testing for performance enhancing drugs

July 23rd, 2015


ESL has issued a statement regarding Performance Enhancing Drugs, or PEDS. Starting with it’s ESL One Cologne event on August 22nd, ESL will conduct skin tests on all professional players involved in competition to ensure competitive integrity.

Today we are announcing the beginning of the steps we’ll be taking as an organization in order to determine enforce guidelines and rules surrounding the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) at ESL events.


In order to maintain the spirit of fair play within esports, ESL has partnered with NADA (the Nationale Anti Doping Agentur, which is headquartered in Bonn, Germany) to help create an anti-PED policy that is fair, feasible and conclusive while also respecting the privacy of players. ESL will also be meeting with WADA (the World Anti Doping Agency, based in Montreal, Canada) so they can be actively involved in the making, enforcing and dissemination of this policy to additional regions such as the US, Asia and Australia.


In the meantime, we will taking immediate action to ensure that ESL’s company values of exemplary sportsmanship and integrity are maintained. As such, we will be administering the first PED skin tests at ESL One Cologne this August, with a view to performing these tests at every Intel Extreme Masters, ESL One and ESL ESEA Pro League event thereafter as soon as the official PED policy is established and tournament rules updated accordingly.

We will remain proactive in ensuring all professional players and organizations involved in ESL competitions will be kept informed of the initiative’s progress. Updates on changes to tournament rules including the list of banned substances, methods of testing and potential disciplinary actions for players caught using PEDs and/or admitting to having used them will be provided to players via their respective team managers and/or owners.


This policy comes after Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen, a Counter Strike: Global Offensive player under Team Nihilum, admitted last week to using Adderall at ESL One Katowice, in March, under former Team Cloud 9.


 “I don’t even care. We were all on Adderall. I don’t even give a f–k. It was pretty obvious if you listened to the comms. People can hate it or whatever.”


Currently, the ESL Rulebook does not name any substances specifically, though it does state:


To play a match, be it online or offline, under the influence of any drugs, alcohol, or other performance enhancers is strictly prohibited, and may be punished with exclusion from the ESL One.


Adderall is an amphetamine that is commonly used to treat Narcolepsy and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Adderall is also banned by Major League Baseball, the NBA, Major League Soccer, the NCAA and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which regulates Olympic sports.


Official Statement by ESL


image via ESL