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Doping in darts - an underestimated danger also in the sport of darts

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Alex Krist
Alex Krist

Always at the start with the hottest darts news!

In this blog post we want to touch on a topic that has not yet played a major role in darts. Surprisingly, because especially in darts there are enough substances that can lead to an increase in performance. We are talking about doping. Even the sport of darts is not protected from doping cases, although positive test results among the stars so far have been limited. So far, there have been no major doping incidents to complain about, especially among the world's top players. Nevertheless, some incidents have already caused a stir. The sport of darts should not talk doping down, but take consistent action against it before it becomes a major issue.

Doping at the German Masters - both finalists tested positive

It's 2017, the German Masters are already half a year over and at the same time the PDC World Darts Championship is running in England. At this point, no one is thinking about doping in darts. But far from it. In June 2017 the final of the German Masters in darts took place. The National Anti-Doping Agency, Nada for short, tested both finalists for banned substances at the time - the result was positive in both cases. Particularly bitter for the finalists: both the prize money, the titles and a nomination to the national team squad were thus carelessly given away. In addition both finalists were given long bans in darts. DDV President Johann Peltzer said at the time: "That's when you lose faith in humanity. That was a huge blow for me." Surely it was a huge slap in the face for all darts fans as well, because darts is considered a popular sport for everyone.

In the meantime, there is an anti-doping commission set up by the DDV. But the main problem is not always the players. Since the subject of doping in darts was not addressed for a long time, many players still don't know what exactly they are allowed to take and what not. This often leads to players reacting with surprise to positive test results - but ultimately this should not be an excuse. In the end, every dart player has to inform himself about what he is legally allowed to take or what not. In case of doubt, an exemption from the "Nada" becomes necessary - for example, if certain substances have to be taken to maintain health.

German Darts Masters Logo

What exactly was doping in darts supposed to do anyway?

Doping can also massively help a darts player to succeed. Unfortunately, there are actually some very crucial factors that make darts particularly attractive for dopers. A doping test in darts is therefore, especially for the pros, no longer a novelty.

Let's start with concentration. Darts is an enormous concentration sport. Especially here there are several substances that can help to keep the concentration at a maximum over a long period of time, i.e. several hours. But not only the concentration can be influenced significantly. Quite a few players have the problem of nervousness. Here, too, there are plenty of means to ensure that the arm remains loose and calm - even in very decisive game situations, when the pulse actually shoots up. Just these two things, are suitable for doping. One more reason for the world's largest and most powerful darts association, the PDC, to take decisive action against doping, before this topic also makes bigger waves among the pros.

Controls regarding doping in the PDC

Doping in the PDC is so far not too big an issue. Also because the so-called DRA, the Darts Regulation Authority, ensures with regular tests that the pros are strictly monitored with doping controls. The DRA is bindingly responsible for the execution of PDC doping tests. Beyond that, however, the DRA does much more to ensure that the sport of darts is not "tainted." Even an inappropriate choice of words in interviews or a behavior of a player in front of cameras which could put the sport of darts in a negative light will be severely punished. A big advantage for the PDC as no exceptions are made here.

So far, the strict handling has resulted in fines of a few hundred pounds. The record here, however, is 4,000 pounds against Mervyn King - also for a vulgar choice of words and the withdrawal of interviews with the partner SkySports.

The DRA can also enforce suspensions, which have only been imposed extremely rarely to date. In this case, the financial damage is usually even greater, since the players cannot earn any prize money during this period.

WDF and DDV Anti-Doping Regulations

On the homepage of the German Darts Federation, the DDV, it can be clearly read that also the DDV follows the clear regulations of the WDF, the World Darts Federation, to fight darts doping. After the doping incidents in the final of the German Masters 2017 became known, it came in an amending resolution of the Presidium of the DDV on 23 September 2017 to a new anti-doping regulation, which is implemented and pursued since then tough. On the homepage, the guidelines of the anti-doping regulation as well as the banned list of all substances without approval can thus also be read through with one click.


Alcohol in darts - why there is a ban on alcohol on stage in darts

Darts and alcohol. For many hobby players or lower leagues alcohol and darts still belong together. Alcohol, so already many hobby players had to notice this, makes from a certain point clearly looser and loosens cramps. This is also noticeable in darts. However, there is also a limit here. Too much alcohol can in turn lead to a decrease in accuracy. So there is a certain framework, so to speak, in which the consumption of alcohol can be quite advantageous in darts and leads to an increase in performance. But is this allowed at all?

Alcohol is not on any anti-doping list. This, first of all, in advance. So every player can decide for himself whether to consume alcohol. However, there are clear regulations that prohibit this, at least in professional sports. The PDC prohibits, also to get rid of the image of the pub sport in darts gradually, the consumption of alcohol on stage. Only still water is available for the players. But the players are free to choose what they drink before the match.

Alcohol guidelines also in lower leagues

A doping test for alcohol is therefore not possible. Even in the lower leagues the regulations meanwhile often state that during a league match only so much alcohol may be consumed that it does not disturb 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 stop the game. This is a fine line that each player must define for himself.

A few beers are certainly okay as a hobby player, but you should not overdo it, as in principle with alcohol, of course!

Darts player in bar

2 Responses

  1. Hello,
    I think in darts for example Gerwyn Price, there I would not be so sure if he does not take something for his concentration and maybe others.
    I would welcome it very much if doping controls would be carried out there as well.

  2. Hello,

    I know this post is extremely old, but I hope for an answer.

    I am diabetic and take medications like Metformin and Jardiance and for my blood pressure Ramipril.

    Now I wonder if these drugs are considered doping substances.



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