Friday 28 July 2017

Dutch master Van Gerwen calls for more drugs testing

Darts

Michael van Gerwen. Photo: Getty Images
Michael van Gerwen. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Critchley

the newly-crowned world champion of darts Michael van Gerwen has called for stricter anti-doping procedures within the sport.

The world No 1 saw off the challenge of Scotland's Gary Anderson to claim a 7-3 victory and his second PDC World Darts Championship title at Alexandra Palace on Monday night.

Van Gerwen - who won a remarkable 25 titles during the whole of last year - urged authorities to take a more 'professional' stance on doping if they harbour any hopes of darts becoming an Olympic sport.

Players are currently tested for performance-enhancing substances during tournaments but both Van Gerwen and Anderson would be open to being called in on at home.

"Any day of the week, I don't mind," Van Gerwen said. "I hope I get tested. I don't mind. I don't have anything to hide.

"I do this on ability and mental strength and some people don't believe me but just inform the anti-doping authorities and ask for my name.

"Testing at home is the next step," he added. "Everybody needs to give a little bit to make darts more professional."

Knock

Anderson echoed Van Gerwen's sentiments, insisting that "24/7 you should be getting a knock at the door to be tested."

The pair's comments came amid a debate on whether darts should be recognised as an Olympic sport.

A stricter anti-doping policy would only increase darts' chances of recognition alongside sports like shooting and archery.

"People say darts is a sport, people say darts isn't a sport," Anderson said. "Is snooker a sport? We are up there performing in front of these crowds, I think it is.

"If you play darts out there at the Ally Pally I don't think there is an Olympic Stadium that will come close to that.

"Show me a sport in the Olympics that gets half as loud in the crowd, I don't think you will find one." (© Independent News Service)

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