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Esports Adderall crackdown reminds us that even video game athletes take drugs

Following revelations  from a Counter Strike: Global Offensive pro player, who alleged that he and just about every other member of the Cloud 9 eSports team had taken the prescription medication Adderall before the Electronic Sports League’s key One Katowice event earlier this year, the ESL has announced that it is forming a new anti-doping policy. While the specifics have yet to be announced, it will be working with a trusted authority to build a solid framework of rules surrounding their use.

Traditionally, performance enhancing drugs have been most associated with physical sports, where steroids or growth hormones are used to build an advantage in strength, stamina, or to help cut weight before a contest. However in the world of eSports, reaction times and concentration are far more important, and so ADHD medications like Adderall have been used to deliver that effect.

Beta blockers and other anti-anxiety medications have also reportedly been used by some players.

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To prevent that in the future, the ESL will be working with the World Anti-Doping Agency (as per Gamespot) to build a set of guidelines about which substances are banned from use during competition and whether a blood or urine testing scheme should be devised. There will also need to be a system in place to make sure that doctors prescriptions are not abused and that those with legitimate medical conditions can continue to use their medication without it affecting their chances of competing.

While the ESL has yet to release a list of banned substances, traditionally illegal drugs will likely make the list, as well as Adderall and other similar phenethylamine class stimulants, such as Ritalin, which is also used for the treatment of ADHD.