Last weekend not only saw Ellerstina claim the Hurlingham Open title for a third consecutive year, but a new anti-doping regulation was carried out for the first time. This rule, which saw Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres take an anti-doping test after Saturday’s final between La Doflina and Ellerstina, takes polo one step closer to being a fully professional sport.
Facundo Pieres, who was tested straight after the prize giving ceremony, shared: “The only bad thing about it was that I had to do it straight after the prize giving and I wasn’t in the pony-lines to celebrate with my organisation. But it was my turn to go, and it was a positive experience overall. We were treated well. It is something that happens in every sport, so it is good that it be taken seriously in polo.”
The Argentine Polo Association commented: “Last year we tried to carry out anti-doping tests but we had a problem with the timings. The idea was already in place, however. It also corresponds with the Olympic project, because in order to participate in the Olympic Games, you have to carry out anti-doping tests; this is another step towards that goal.” They continue, “It comes at a very high cost for the AAP, but it is something that was needed and wanted, beyond the expense of it.”
Adolfo Cambiaso, who was also chosen for testing, told PoloLine: “The overall experience was a good one. I think that it is good that we do this. It is something that helps every sport. I think that it should be done at every level, not just during the Triple Crown. It’s just a shame that I took so long to go to the bathroom!”
Lastly, Dr. Gabriel Clembosky, Director of the AAP Medical Department, stated: “Players are aware that they might be called up for testing, so there were no problems or difficulties. Both Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres were willing and accepted the control without complaint. The ONAD (National Antidoping Organisation) and the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) determine when a new test should be carried out. It can be assumed that there will be one after a Palermo league match, and after the semi or final. But they are the ones who decide.”