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ESL's new anti-doping program bans marijuana, allows prescribed meds

The ESL has outlined the details of its new anti-doping program, and it intends to begin randomly saliva testing players at ESL events -- starting with the ESL One Cologne CS: GO tourney next month.

Electronic Sports League (ESL) representative Anna Rozwandowicz has outlined the details of the ESL's new anti-doping program, noting that the organization intends to begin randomly saliva testing players at ESL events -- starting with the ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: GO tournament next month.

"ESL One Cologne will only see randomized tests, however we don’t want to exclude the possibility of performing a larger number of tests among all/majority of players at a later stage," wrote Rozwandowicz. "Should the testing policy and method change, we will inform the players accordingly."

This is notable because the eSports organization promised to craft an anti-doping program last month after a pro player admitted to using Adderall as a performance-enhancing drug during an official ESL Counter-Strike: GO tournament.

Next month the ESL will begin testing for the presence of anything on the World Anti-Doping Agency's Prohibited List of substances and refine the scope of its drug testing program from there. That list includes everything from steroids to amphetamines to natural and synthetic cannabinoids, effectively banning players from using drugs like marijuana and Adderall during ESL competitions.

However, the ESL may allow players to compete while under the effects of these banned substances if they have a medical prescription for them, and show proof of that prescription to ESL officials before the start of an official tournament.

Players caught violating these new policies may be punished with up to a two-year ban from the ESL, but they aren't the full realization of the league's proposed anti-drug initiative -- ESL officials have said their ultimate goal is build a support structure to help pro players handle the "physical and emotional pressure" of eSports competition.

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