BONN: Drug testing in chess is new to those outside the sport who feel that performance enhancers are only for disciplines where speed, strength and stamina play a big role.
A more skill-oriented sport like chess has dope testing at the highest level and evidence of this was available at the Art and Exhibition Hall here on Tuesday.
After Viswanathan Anand tamed Vladimir Kramnik for a third time in six games, the players were taken for dope testing. Indications were that two of the ‘seconds’ from both camps were also tested.
As a result, instead of the customary joint press conference, the players came by turns to answer questions from the media. Kramnik was first and Anand followed much later.
When asked about the possibility of performance-enhancing drugs for chess players, Anand said, “It is completely pointless, of course.”
Giving an analogy, Anand said, “I mean, in cycling, if you could add a little piece of metal (to your bike) that could boost your performance by 20 times, they would not test you for drugs. They would make sure that the bike did not have that piece of metal.
“In chess, when you have computers and use them for preparation, taking time off to figure out what medicines to take is itself ridiculous. I understand that in order to be an Olympic sport, you have this (testing).”
Expressing his desire to be part of the Olympic Games, Anand said, “At some point, it should be nice. That will bring huge benefits to chess in every country. Being part of the Olympic movement automatically brings some privileges.”
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– GM Susan Polgar