Dutch master Van Gerwen calls for more drugs testing
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."
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)