Trouble in paradise.
The World Surf League, riding a wave of unmitigated success, growing more robustly than any student of professional sport could have ever imagined, so wildly healthy that streaming giant Netflix and its “offer” could be openly rejected then mocked.
Surfing for the win.
Surfing for the gold.
Which brings us around to the Olympics. You certainly recall the surfing’s grand debut two northern hemisphere summers ago there in Japan. Leading up to the games was much talk about how the big stage would introduce trillions of new fans and if the just-wrapped Final’s Day is any indication, what with its 8 million (and counting) live streams, prognostications were spot on.
Surfing bigger than curling.
With the Olympic spotlight, though, comes great responsibility for governing sporting bodies like not being overtly racist, brutally sexist, drug testing athletes etc. And while the World Surf League is not the official governing body of Olympic surfing, it does provide the main path for our heroes and heroines into the big show. Now, the League promises to drug test in accordance with international standards but an Instagram post, yesterday, by Hawaiian star Alex Smith threw the whole program into much question.
Smith, who most recently competed at the Sunset Pro just weeks ago, finishing in the round of 64, shared a photo of his “daily boosters,” superfood powders MOTS-C+ BPC-157 peptides.
As it happens, BPC-157 is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, or WADA.
There appears to be no legal basis for selling BPC-157 as a drug, food, or a dietary supplement, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirmed there is also no legal basis for compounding pharmacies to use BPC-157 in compounded medications.
However, there is evidence that BPC-157 is being illegally included in some wellness and anti-aging treatments and products.
Prior to 2022, BPC-157 was not prohibited, but it has been added to the WADA Prohibited List after the annual review of the List and is prohibited starting on January 1, 2022. It’s prohibited under the S0 Unapproved Substances category of the List.
But who at the World Surf League is responsible for educating and testing its surfers?
Erik “Double Deuces” Logan?
And if this sort of sloppiness is not dealt with, will the International Olympic Committee remove surfing from the competition slate like it did wrestling thereby squishing historic gains?
Currently more questions than answers.
Cocaine and MDMA are also considered banned.