The Electronic Sports League, a competitive video game organization, announced on Wednesday that it was banning competitors’ use of marijuana, Adderall, and a host of other drugs during tournaments.
The ESL will be conducting random saliva tests during future tournaments starting in Cologne, Germany later this month to test gamers for the use of performance enhancing drugs.
“Using it during the tournament, from the start of the first day until the end of the last day of competition, is strictly prohibited.”
Although banned during competition, players will not be disciplined for smoking marijuana recreationally before or after an event; they’re just banned from getting high during the tournament.
The decision to test gamers for performance enhancing drugs including marijuana comes after one competitor admitted using Adderall to stay awake during a high stakes tournament.
Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen, a highly ranked Counter Strike: Global Offensive player, told the gaming magazine Motherboard that he and his team members used Adderall during a recent tournament.
The drug is used to treat ADHD, but can also improve reaction time and alertness.
ESL has said it won’t impose penalties retro actively, but plans to remain vigilant in the future.
The ESL co-operated with the World Anti-Doping Agency, created by the Olympics to fight athletic doping, in choosing the list of drugs banned from competition. That list includes cocaine and steroids, along with other pharmaceutical drugs like Ritalin and Adderall.
Players with medical proscriptions can still get a pass for their meds by verifying their doctor’s orders with ESL personnel.
Meanwhile, in California, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom went on Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday and said California will legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis for adult recreational use in 2016.
“We gotta to do it right and be thoughtful and deal with the legitimate concerns folks have about our children, and not allowing Big Tobacco come in and do Big Marijuana.”
That’s a rather bold pronouncement from a politician running for governor, but Newsom recently finished working with a Blue Ribbon Commission to issue 58 recommendations for legalizing recreational marijuana use.
The state of Ohio could become the next state to legalize marijuana use as advocates there just secured enough signatures to put the issue on the November 3 ballot.
Recreational marijuana use is currently legal in four states and the District of Columbia, while 28 other states have decriminalized its used to at least some extent.