As reported on www.floridatoday.com
SEBASTIAN INLET – The “juice” isn’t loose on the professional surfing circuit.
Unlike baseball, football and bicycling, there has been very little steroid controversy when it comes to surfers.
“I don’t really think anyone in our sport wants to bulk up, otherwise you’d have to be riding a bigger board,” said Mike Martin, regional manager for the Association of Surfing Professionals’ North America Tour. “I mean, these guys aren’t out there to hit home runs.”
According to Dave Prodan, regional media manager for the ASP, in only one instance has a World Tour member been caught and suspended.
That took place in Hossegor, France, in 2004, when French Drug testing authorities suspended Brazilian surfer Neco Padaratz for 12 months — requiring him to re-qualify for the World Tour — after tests showed he had taken performance-enhancing anabolic steroids.
Padaratz claimed he had taken the steroids to help a lingering back injury, but the ASP has a “zero tolerance” policy for performance-enhancing drugs.
“That violated the surfers’ contract, which they sign,” Prodan said. “We don’t really test here in our country, like some of the other governing bodies do. First of all, consider the expenses. The ASP is a non-profit organization. Second, it’s not like guys on the same team, like in baseball. Every contest will have so many different surfers out there.”