Justin Bergh and Adrian Bozman Talk Drug Testing on CrossFit Games Podcast
Photo Credit: Kieran Kesner for CrossFit LLC
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Chase Ingraham opened the most recent episode of the CrossFit Games podcast with a strong statement about PEDs, following last week’s rash of positive drug tests: “These make great headlines, ‘does CrossFit have a drug problem’ . . . but the reality is it’s a very unfair statement to get clicks on a video or article.”
What followed was an hour-long discussion of CrossFit’s drug testing policy and how and why it has seemed as though a higher number of athletes have tested positive this year.
One big thing: When asked about what Games-level athletes need to do to prepare themselves for the season, especially as it relates to drug testing, Bergh said ”Outbound through the Hopper…if you’re an athlete and you want to play this sport, you need to subscribe to that newsletter.”
“If you’ve unselected that (the Hopper email) then you are willingly not getting the educational material that we are trying to give you, about how to submit your videos correctly, score deadlines, supplements risks, how to get in front of eligibility issues, therapeutic use exemptions and things like that; that’s the content of the Hopper. It’s a designed newsletter for you as a competitor in the sport.”
The details: While this year has not yet topped out as the highest number of positive drug tests, with 17 and counting, it’s trending in that direction.
Bergh, the General Manager of Sport, Bozman, the Competition Director and Kurtis Bowler, the Athlete Relations Manager for CrossFit and head of Drug Testing, provided a few answers about the process.
“There’s nothing we like doing less than telling an athlete they can’t compete in our sport,” Bergh said.
The bottom line: While the competition schedule makes it difficult to wrap up all the drug testing at the same time (some athletes compete in Semifinals a month before others), Bergh and the Games team want to give all athletes in line for a Games spot a chance to go to Madison.
“We don’t let the athletes choose whether they compete in the first week or whether they compete in the fourth week, we assign them to a Semifinal; from a competition integrity standpoint we have the same responsibility that if we would backfill athletes from week 1 we can backfill athletes from week 4, and even if that means the process takes a long time we have to at least make the effort to let those teams go to the cf Games,” Bergh concluded.