In this blog post we want to touch on a topic that has not yet played a major role in darts. Surprisingly, because there are enough substances in darts that can lead to an increase in performance .
We're talking about doping. Darts is also not protected from doping cases, although previous positive test results among the stars have been limited.
There have been no major doping incidents to complain about so far, especially among the world's best. Nevertheless, some incidents have already caused a stir. The sport of darts should not downplay doping, but rather take consistent action against it before it becomes a big issue.
Doping at the German Masters – both finalists tested positive
The year is 2017. The German Masters have already been over for half a year and at the same time the PDC Darts World Championship is taking place in England. Nobody thinks about doping in darts at this point. But far from it.
The final of the German Masters in darts took place in June 2017. The National Anti-Doping Agency , or NADA for short, tested both finalists for banned substances - the result was positive in both cases.
Particularly bitter for the finalists: both the prize money, the titles and a nomination for the national team squad were awarded carelessly.
In addition, both finalists received long bans from darts. DDV President Johann Peltzer said at the time: “You lose trust in humanity. That was a huge blow for me.” It was certainly a huge slap in the face for all darts fans, because darts is considered a popular sport for everyone.
There is now an anti-doping commission set up by the DDV . But the main problem is not always the players. Since the issue of doping in darts has not been addressed for a long time, many players still do not know what exactly they are allowed to take and what they are not .
This often leads to players reacting with surprise to positive test results - but ultimately this should not be an excuse. Ultimately, every dart player has to inform themselves about what they can or cannot legally take .
In case of doubt, an exemption from “Nada” is necessary – for example if certain substances have to be taken to maintain health.
What exactly should doping actually do in darts?
Doping can also help a dart player massively to be successful. Unfortunately, there are actually some very decisive factors that make darts particularly attractive for doping substances. A doping test in darts is therefore no longer unusual, especially for professionals.
Let's start with concentration. Darts is an enormous concentration sport . Here in particular there are a number of substances that can help you keep your concentration at its maximum over a long period of time, i.e. several hours .
But it's not just concentration that can be significantly influenced. Quite a few players have the problem of nervousness . Here, too, there are plenty of means to ensure that the arm remains relaxed and calm - even in crucial game situations when the pulse actually shoots up.
These two things in particular are suitable for doping. One more reason for the largest, most powerful darts association in the world, the PDC , to take decisive action against doping before this issue causes major waves among the professionals.
Controls regarding doping in the PDC
Doping in the PDC has not been a big issue so far. Also because the so-called DRA, the Darts Regulation Authority, uses regular tests to ensure that the professionals are strictly monitored with doping controls .
The DRA is responsible for carrying out PDC doping tests. In addition, the DRA does much more to ensure that the sport of darts is not “dirty”.
Even an inappropriate choice of words in interviews or behavior by a player in front of cameras that could put darts in a negative light will be punished severely. A big advantage for the PDC, as no exceptions are made here.
So far, strict handling has resulted in fines of a few hundred pounds . However, the record here is 4,000 pounds against Mervyn King - also because of a vulgar choice of words and withholding interviews from partner SkySports.
The DRA can also enforce bans, which have so far only been imposed extremely rarely. Then the financial damage is usually even greater because the players cannot earn any prize money during this period.
WDF and DDV anti-doping regulations
On the homepage of the German darts association, the DDV, you can clearly read that the DDV also follows the clear regulations of the WDF , the World Darts Federation, in order to combat dart doping.
After the doping incidents in the final of the German Masters 2017 became known, the DDV Presidium passed a new anti-doping regulation on September 23, 2017, which has been rigorously implemented and prosecuted ever since.
On the homepage you can also read the guidelines of the anti-doping regulation and the banned list of all substances without approval with just one click.
Alcohol in darts - why there is a ban on alcohol on stage during darts
Darts and alcohol. For many hobby players or lower league players, alcohol and darts continue to go hand in hand. As many hobby players have noticed, alcohol makes you feel much more relaxed and relieves tension after a certain point.
This is also noticeable in darts. However, there is also a limit here. Too much alcohol can lead to a decrease in aiming accuracy .
So there is a certain framework within which alcohol consumption can be beneficial when playing darts and can lead to an increase in performance. But is this even allowed?
Alcohol is not on any anti-doping list. This first of all. Each player can decide for themselves whether to consume alcohol . However, there are clear regulations that prohibit this, at least in professional sports.
The PDC prohibits the consumption of alcohol on stage , also in order to gradually get rid of the image of bar sport in darts. There is only still water for the players. But the players are free to choose what they eat before the game.
Alcohol guidelines also in lower leagues
A doping test for alcohol is therefore not possible. Even in the lower leagues, the regulations now often state that only enough alcohol can be consumed during a league game so that it does not disrupt the course of the dart game.
So if a player is no longer able to act as a scribe, this would be a reason for the opponent to have the game aborted . A fine line that every player has to define for themselves.
A few beers are certainly ok as a hobby player, but of course you shouldn't overdo it, as is generally the case with alcohol!
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