In every professional game, a level of fairness is demanded, and any consequences for disrespecting that can be heavy. For darts, a top-rated bar-room game that skyrocketed into an organized sport, fair play is definitely expected. Any enhancing methods like steroids or destructive habits like cocaine are considered breaching the rules.
Are darts players drug tested? Given that there are governing bodies of darts that create the rules and regulations, these chemicals being taken are considered illegal in any proper tournament or league. This means all participants are subjected to testing. Anyone caught will be given a punishment corresponding to the category of the chemical taken in.
What Types of Drugs Are Being Monitored in a Drug Test?
Imagine having played on the professional level and putting your entire time, attention, and effort into mastering the art of darts only to be beaten by an average player with a sudden performance boost from using drugs.
It not only costs you the recognition you deserve but also denies you future opportunities because of an unfair player’s selfishness. In the realm of world-class athletes, there will always be a worry for diminishing one’s shine, and the ‘easiest’ way to maintain that is to cheat through drugs.
Those who are caught will meet their downfall either immediately or gradually. However, the rules must be clear which drug is illegal for the sport and which is allowed.
The World Darts Federation, or WDF, the leading global governing body of darts, is cooperating with the World Anti-Doping Agency, WADA, to resolve the matter of athletes who use drugs.
Obviously, illegal drugs that are considered unlawful are automatically banned. Still, most athletes, even in the sport of darts, use performance-enhancing drugs.
To further clarify which is which, here are the categories of drugs that are monitored during a darts player’s drug test.
Drugs in this category are banned at all times, whether currently playing darts or in everyday, inactive situations.
- Non-approved pharmacological substances
- Beta-2 agonists
- Anabolic agents
- Growth factors
- Peptide hormones
- Hormone modulators
- Mimetics substances
- Diuretic masking agents
- Metabolic modulators
Drugs in this category are banned while participating in a competition, either a tournament or a league.
- Stimulants excluding Clonidine and Imidazole derivatives
Drugs in this category are banned in a particular sporting event. In this case, the following is prohibited in any darts-related competitions.
On the official website of WDF, there is an updated list of prohibited substances. Conducting drug tests can depend on a darts league’s rules and regulations.
How Is A Drug Test for Darts Players Conducted?
Drug inspectors from international and regional authorities will conduct the drug tests according to the rules set by WDF and WADA. Here are the drug tests that a darts player might undergo:
This drug testing type is conducted when the WDF selects a darts player participating in a tournament or league as subject to doping control.
This drug testing type is done during a certain period of an on-going darts event within the venue and involves the participating darts players. In this procedure, only one governing body is in charge of conducting it and the cooperation of WDF.
This drug testing type is supervised by any governing body and carried upon by a particular drug testing agency. This is mainly done as a surprise maneuver throughout the playing year to filter out the cheaters.
How Often Is the Drug Testing Conducted?
If a professional darts player happens to be less active, they are subjected to at least one drug test in a year.
Suppose the player increases their exposure by participating tournaments and other darts-related events. In that case, they will likely undergo more than one drug test, around 4 to 5 times a year, aside from the mandatory annual drug testing.
It is common for an active darts player to undergo all types of drug tests – in-competition, event, and out-of-competition testing, within a single year.
The WDF will be the one to decide the schedule and frequency of the drug tests with immediate approval from tournament organizers and league officials.
If you are skeptical of the methods, always remember that all the drug tests are compliant with the International Standards.
What Are the Effects If A Drug Testing Is Conducted?
Drug testing is a good practice for any sport as long as it promotes equality in physique and emphasizes the players’ skills and strategies. Here are the effects of drug testing is conducted on the players.
WDF’s Identity Protection
Testing for doping substances means that fair play is respected. The WDF aims to uphold that level of respect from global championships until the most minor official skirmish. If a sport tolerates athletes being abusive, it means that the governing body doesn’t care.
Not only will the player be discouraged from depending on doping substances to increase the performance, but they will also be encouraged to stay away from illegal drug abuse while still active in the sport. It may sound a bit controlling, but there will be no harm done if you are genuinely innocent.
Promotion of the Sport
One goal for any sport is to attain international fame and to be played in the Olympics. The more WDF gets refined and organized, the more chances it will enter the Olympics.
One key factor in every organization is trust. It must also be displayed towards the fellow players and audiences who support the sport. Furthermore, with the popularity of darts, it will be a matter of time before organizations earn the trust of more prominent brands and cooperate as sources for endorsements.
The punishment for a failure on the darts player’s part during drug testing can depend on the tested category.
It may range from a fine of a few hundred dollars to a lifetime ban of the sport. Suppose you are planning to be a competitive darts player. In that case, you must be disciplined enough to stick to the classic hardworking scheme rather than resorting to chemical dependence.