You’d think that after winning 11 ASP World Surfing titles Kelly Slater would be able to say pretty much anything he wants to say about surfing, but when Slater was quoted in an interview with Goldcoast.com.au things quickly got complicated.
Slater’s original quote was:
He [Slater] said he did not believe surfing had a performance-enhancing drug problem because he did not “think there’s a drug you can take to make you surf better”. . . Asked if there was a recreational drug problem, he said: “There clearly is — absolutely. There’s no denying that, it’s rampant, it’s full-on.” . . Slater said the Association of Surfing Professionals had introduced drug-testing last year, but it appeared to have faltered. . . “They tested us at the first event and I never got tested again all year,” he said. “Why talk about it and not do it? . . “Either do it or don’t do it.”
Slater then later reportedly emailed a statement saying his “rampant” and “full-on” drug remarks were taken out of context, according to story on Ninemsn.com.au.
Slater said his comments weren’t referring solely to the ASP World Tour or surfing in general but actually to sport as a whole. . . “I definitely think there are issues for athletes across all sporting disciplines that need to be looked at and acknowledged and serviced,” Slater said. . . “I look forward to working with Kieren (Perrow, ASP interim commissioner) and Paul and ASP Management in further enhancing any process that contributes to the betterment of the sport and its athletes.”
The fact that Slater’s longtime agent Terry Hardy and Hardy’s business partner new ASP CEO Paul Speaker own the Association of Surfing Professionals only makes this entire issue even murkier. Speaker, however, says the ASP is standing firm on doping: “The ASP has a very clear stance on doping that is consistent with protocols from other international professional sports as well as with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA),” Speaker said. “The ASP remains fully committed to adherence and enforcement of our policy.”
Guess we’ll all have to wait and see, won’t we.