Perkins: Drug testing necessary to decide true best archer

Drug testing was introduced for the championship divisions at The Vegas Shoot in 2017.

That fact was thrown into the spotlight after last year’s edition when the winner of the Championship Open competition, Bob Eyler, was handed a two-year doping ban and had his title stripped.

It was instead awarded to Lucky Dog Chris Perkins and while it might not be the way anyone wants to win a tournament, the Canadian took it in stride.

“I think this has opened a lot of eyes and ears,” he said.

“Personally, I think people will become more informed about what anti-doping really is and come to understand that at high-level events like this it is a necessary step to crown who truly is the best archer.”

The list of substances banned in competition is updated and published each year by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

Everyone who competes in a championship division at The Vegas Shoot agrees to submit to a drugs check if randomly selected by the independent testing agency that visits the event.

“I’ve been shooting world stage events for quite a few years now and I am up on the whole banned substance list,” said Perkins.

“Not knowing or informing yourself about it is not an excuse.”

“Rules are rules and they are made to even the playing field, not following them will either result in a warning or a disqualification, and it’s your responsibility as an archer to keep up to speed.”

Perkins returns to The Vegas Shoot in 2019 in a unique situation. He’s the defending champion but didn’t get to enjoy his victory in the arena.

“My mindset is to go and enjoy myself. Vegas, for me, is always a great event,” he said. “I enjoy the atmosphere and people sharing the same passion I have for archery.”

World Archery recently published a beginner’s guide to anti-doping in the sport on its website.

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