In 2012, the Association of Surfing Professionals would be rolling out a policy to screen competitors and officials for performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. This would mean the international governing body of surfing for the first time has prepared to introduce comprehensive drug testing for professionals.

This move came after the death of Andy Irons, triple world champion, in November 2010. The postmortem revealed that he died from a heart attack and “acute mixed drug ingestion” and traces of methadone, methamphetamine, also known as crystal meth, and a metabolite of cocaine were found in his bloodstream.

Anthony Ruffo, a 47-year-old pioneer of the Santa Cruz scene in the 1980s and another surfer, is facing a possible jail sentence after he was found selling methamphetamine and caught with an ounce of the drug.

“I have seen guys who are stoners and they drop off the scene because it is not sustainable,” he said. “Athletes are training hard. The way the contests are now, it will catch up with you,” Gerry Fitzgerald, a professional in Ireland, said.