You might have heard the news last week that three teams have been disqualified from the 2012 CrossFit Games after testing positive during this years drug testing.
With the growth of the sport and the large purse on offer ($1 million), officials have stepped up testing this year, and the result? Three teams eliminated from this years Games!
CrossFit 808, CrossFit Wilmington and CrossFit Spokane Valley will not compete at the Home Depot Center next month after failing tests at the Regionals. Each team had an individual competitor test position to a banned substance, meaning the whole team was affected. Teams that finished fourth in each of their Regions will now be invited to the Games.
Earlier this week, Justin Bergh, General Manager of the CrossFit Games, had an exclusive interview with HQ about the drug testing debate, and said that considering all individual athletes have passed thus far, the results from this years CrossFit Games drug testing have been good.
“This is the first year than all of the individual athletes will take a test leading up to the Games, and so far all of them have passed and there have been been no failed tests at this time. The unfortunate thing is that not all teams fit into that boat.”
Bergh also defended the move to test athletes this year and was fairly pleased with the way athletes handled their eliminations.
“We make a bold claim here and that’s that the athletes and teams that win the CrossFit Games are the fittest on earth, and in order to back up that claim we have to make sure there’s a level playing field and part of that level playing field is making sure that athletes are tested and are not using any performance enhancing drugs to get them to that level,” he said.
“In all three counts the athletes stepped up and said ‘I acknowledge what happened’. It’s unfortunate for the teams who were affected, but they all took full accountability for it.”
While three team members did test positive to banned substances, Bergh said that there appears to be no worrying cases where an athlete was intentionally trying to cheat.
“The problem we have is athletes not understanding the policy and taking it seriously,” he said.
“In none of the cases we have seen have we looked at this and said this is an athlete trying to take a drug to improve their performance and cheat the system. In most of the cases it was the athletes not understanding what is bad and not doing the due diligence.”
With two weeks to go until the Games we can only hope no more athletes test positive to banned substances to ensure CrossFit maintains its clean and healthy reputation.