Performance enhancing drugs seems like an easy route, but testing marijuana use on a surf culture that is centered in california, where now a days it is super easy to get a hold of pot legally.. hmmm, that could be a harder sell.
testing for performance enhancing drugs seems like a legitimate idea (even though doesnt seem like too many surfers are juicing), but testing for recreational drugs is another story.
testing for recreational drugs (in addition to reinforcing the corrupt ideology of the war on drugs, which goes against what 99% of surfers in the world stand for, not that we promote drug use but we tend to be against stupid policies like marijuana prohibition which hurt more people than they help) doesnt make any sense. Pot isnt going to help anyone win a surf competion. Remember Ross Rebagliati in the 1998 winter olympics? how was marijuana giving him a competitive edge in snowboarding?
PED testing is a no-brainer. don't see any arguments against that.
however, the recreational use testing? i think it's an attempt to make professional surfing a more 'legitimate' sport. unfortunately, if you don't surf or have any ties to the ocean, you're probably not going to have much interest in professional surfing. the fact that they're drug testing isn't going to bring many, if any at all, new fans to the sport.
i'd be fine with testing for everything but weed. i'd expect a lot of backlash from some of the tour pros on this one.
I think its not only healthy and elevates the sports profile (competitions side) , but also is an excellent marketing tool. Imagine being able to market to larger companies and corporations outside the surfing companies with the point that the athletes competitive standard is similar to that of Olympians, etc. Make sense to me... Further, regardless if they want to be or not...they're role models for a ton of kids...time to step up and illustrate/model behavior/citizenry.
As well if a pro's desire is to emphasize the so-called "freedom" ethos of surfing...then go for it...tons of photo-pros/bros and free surfers are already doing it.
i agree there is definitly a distinction between chronic and "hard" dangerous drugs, and the autopsy reports following AI's death may be influencing this. We dont want anyone damaging their own life or the sports image through recreational use of harder drugs. But the ASP cant really say were only going to test for cocaine, meth, heroin, oxycondin etc. because in doing so it is taking a de facto pro marijuana stance.
I personally see nothing wrong with such a stance, and think marijuana (for better or for worse) has brought more people to the sport and indirectly sold more surfboards and surf gear than a squeaky clean image ever would. But i dont see the ASP being able to do that.