Slater: Punish surfers for pot? Harsh, bro
Surfing legend Kelly Slater is happy to submit to random drug tests, but has queried whether using marijuana should be a punishable offense in sport.
The 11-time world champion is in Australia for the start of the World Tour, which opens this weekend with the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast, 50 miles south of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast.
It will be the first event to fall under new anti-doping guidelines which allow for surfers to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs and "recreational" substances including alcohol, cannabis and cocaine.
Florida-born teetotaler Slater, who has yet to confirm whether he will try for a 12th world crown, said it was "silly" that a snowboarder was stripped of his Winter Olympics gold medal for testing positive to marijuana — as happened to Canada’s Ross Rebagliati in 1998.
"I was like, you think that helped him or hurt him? I would have thought it slowed him down," Slater said. "It was kind of ridiculous. The guy wins and they take it away because he was smoking pot and that was cheating. I don’t know. That seemed silly to me."
Surfers will be subjected to in-competition testing but a positive result will only be made public if the substance is performance-enhancing, or if it is a third positive test to a recreational drug.