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E-Sports League to Drug Test Video Gamers

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Getting high and playing video games is a favorite pastime for many people, but a recent development might mean Game Over for stoners who want to compete in e-sports tournaments.

The Electronic Sports League, which coordinates many such competitions, just announced that it will begin drug testing gamers for performance enhancing drugs.

“As the world’s largest and oldest esports organization, ESL has an ongoing commitment to safeguarding both the integrity of our competitions and that of esports as a whole,” the league wrote in an article on its website.

The move comes in response to a revelation that players in a competition for the game Counter-Strike took the stimulant Adderall in an attempt to get an edge on their opponents.

It is unclear which drugs will be covered by the new policy, and an ESL spokeswoman did not respond to a question from Marijuana.com about whether cannabis will be included in the tests.

Marijuana is sometimes said to negatively impact skills that gamers rely on, such as concentration and reaction time, but surely some players see their own cannabis use as “performance enhancing.”

In crafting its new policy ESL will consult with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which creates guidelines and advises the Olympics and other sporting competitions on how best to detect and reduce the use of performance enhancing drugs. WADA includes marijuana on its list of substances that are banned during competition.

ESL’s rulebook already prohibits “play[ing]a match, be it online or offline, under the influence of any drugs, alcohol, or other performance enhancers,” though there doesn’t appear to be a mechanism by which the league currently enforces the ban.

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