Recent news of the updated World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules on drug testing and banned substances sparked a bit of lively conversation in fishing circles.
Non-carp angling wags joked that some recreational carp anglers might have to give up the sport completely, but amid all the giggles, there’s a serious side to this issue. At international level we’re all subject to random and compulsory drugs testing. Compulsory testing usually takes place after an event, when the officials swoop in and grab one or more of the podium-finishing teams and get them to urinate in a bottle.
I can recall two occasions in my tenure when England were tested – one after we (the Carp team) won gold in Spain and Mark Bartlett was selected, and the other in Holland, when Mick Vials (Feeder team) was marched off his box to be tested under the watchful eye of the officials. Quick as a flash Mick asked this particular guy who was the last person he tested.
The response was “Usain Bolt at an international track event”… to which Mick immediately wanted to know whether he had finished weeing quicker than Bolt!
If angling as a sport wants to be taken seriously, it has to comply with the same rules as all other sports.
It’s long been a drive of mine to get fishing recognised in the Olympics. Drug testing is just another of those steps we have to take along the road to our ultimate goal.