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Is Dope Testing To Blame For The 2026 Commonwealth Games Dropping eSports?

Policing performance-enhancing drug use across the world of eSports is no mean feat

Despite announcing the inclusion of eSports for the first time, the 2026 Commonwealth Games – which is scheduled to take place in Australia – will no longer feature eSports competitions.

eSports was a pilot at the 2022 Birmingham Games with the Commonwealth Games Federation president even stating that she expects eSports to be included “going forward”.

Unfortunately, the organisers of the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Australia say eSports will no longer feature and refused to give any specific reason for its decision. Suffice to say that running eSports events does come with its own world of equipment venue and competitor logistics. And that includes ensuring that hundreds of new competitors are clear of drug use – something that already extends to every other sport and competitor in the games.

Drugs in eSports

According to BBC, someone close to the discussion revealed that doping in eSports might have been a factor whereby setting up year-round drug testing across different games could be an issue. 

One insider said, “Everything was looking great after Birmingham and it seemed like eSports would make history in Victoria. We have no idea why the committee rejected it, as they won’t say.

“Doping [and testing] could have been a factor but also there was a lot of general resistance to eSports from more traditional, older members of the Games nation groups. It’s very disappointing.”

There have been several high-profile cases of competitive gamers using substances like Adderall to enhance their focus and performance. 

And although the Commonwealth Games Federation signed a long-term partnership agreement with the World Anti-Doping Agency which banned the use of Adderall in completion, it’s worth noting that none of the 100 gamers from 20 countries was drug tested at the 2022 pilot in Birmingham.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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