Doping in esports has been one of the biggest concerns due to which, esports is struggling to make an entry in the Olympic events. Since the nature of doping in esports differs from traditional doping it makes things even more complicated.
This was also considered to be one of the reasons for Commonwealth Games 2026 removing esports as a medal event. While no reason was provided, many speculations suggest that doping tests for all games would have been problematic.
Global Esport Federation (GEF) recently approached World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to develop an educational program for gamers that spend long hours behind the screen playing video games, especially for those who seek a career in the field.
Melita Moore, a GEF board member said that despite being a billion-dollar industry, the esports sector does not have a proper regulatory body for drug testing. This proposed program aims to create awareness about the harms of doping in esports among gamers.
There are challenges in the abuse of substances, says Olivier Niggli
Director-general of WADA, Olivier Niggli said, “Esport Federation realises that they have now a real need to start educating their players because they see there are challenges in the abuse of substances,” according to ABCNews.
Further, claiming that there is no way a player can game over 16 hours a day without some kind of support. “They play for 16–18 hours a day, they have a bad lifestyle that is not very healthy. They have a health concern first. Doping is one of them,” he added.
Doping is something important to look into as even if doping in physical sports and esports differ a little, the harm done to the mental and physical health is similar and can affect both the player and the industry.
While esports have made appearance in other sports events like the Asian Games and previous iteration of Commonwealth eSports Championship, it does need to comply with WADA guidelines in order to become part of the Olympic program.