GOLD COAST Feb 23 2012
Kelly Slater says the introduction of random drug tests this year to the world surfing championship won't have any impact on him.
The 11-time world champion says if it's good enough for other sports it's fair enough for surfing.
Under the new rules contestants can be tested for everything from performance-enhancing drugs to "recreational" substances including alcohol, cannabis and cocaine.
Surfers will be tested at random and without warning during contests, but the only time the results will be made public is if the drug involved is a performance-enhancing substance, or a surfer returns three positive tests for recreational substances.
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) says the inclusion of alcohol in the banned list is contentious and may be reviewed, but for the first event of the year if anyone blows over the limit during the contest they'll be in strife.
The clean-living Slater says that doesn't pose a problem for him.
"Honestly there's no shortage of social drugs in our lifestyle," Slater told AAP on Thursday at the launch of the Quiksilver Pro on the Gold Coast, the first event on this year's world championship calendar.
"It will be interesting if someone was caught with that sort of thing how it would be handled by the ASP.
"There's even been talk of no alcohol in the contest areas but gosh, I don't know if I can count anyone on tour who doesn't have a drink occasionally ... and I know we've had beer sponsors before at contests, so what are you going to do?"
Slater said surfing involves a lot of decision making and skill, and success isn't just based on strength.
"I don't know if it really applies to us so much because I don't know that somebody could take a drug that could help them win a heat, whereas if a guy's running around a track and has to go as fast as he possibly can, I think you can cheat."
Slater said there's a certain level that elite sportspeople are expected to rise to.
"There's an impression if nothing else the public has and I think it's a totally viable thing that we have (testing)."
The men's and women's trials will be held on Friday with the winner of each gaining a wildcard into the contest which runs from Saturday at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.
One of the superstars of women's surfing, Lisa Anderson, is competing in the trials hoping to make a return to competition.
The 42-year-old four-time world champion retired in 2003 and was given a wildcard in the Roxy Pro the following year, but hasn't donned a competitor's singlet since.
Tony Bartlett - AAP
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