Are 'American Ninja Warrior' Participants Required to Take Drug Tests?

Leila Kozma - Author
By

Jun. 7 2022, Published 10:49 a.m. ET

Season 14 of American Ninja Warrior kicked off with a brand new episode on Monday, June 6, 2022, instantly garnering rave reviews from reality TV buffs and casual viewers alike.

Each year, dozens of contestants try their luck and demonstrate their exceptional physical strength and adeptness by tackling various obstacle courses. 23-year-old Casey Rothschild and 15-year-old Jordan Carr are just some of the contestants who made it to the next round in Season 14.

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Are the contestants on 'American Ninja Warrior' required to take drug tests?

Hundreds of athletes tend to apply to American Ninja Warrior to gain more exposure, and Season 14 of American Ninja Warrior is no exception. But the semi-finals exclusively focus on the rare achievements of the crème de la crème, introducing viewers to only a few dozen contestants.

American Ninja Warrior celebrates unparalleled muscle power. As such, fans of the show have long wondered about whether participants are required to take drug tests before appearing on the show.

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According to an urban legend, contestants eager to appear on American Ninja Warrior aren't required to take drug tests. Several contestants faced steroid misuse allegations in the past, and there's no shortage of tweets criticizing the show for its assumed lack of relevant regulations.

"I just saw this little girl on American Ninja Warrior. [She] is 12 years old and is built like a grown man. We ain’t drug testing these kids like parents aren’t crazy enough to shoot their kid with steroids?" tweeted @FowLslays in 2020.

"This guy on American Ninja Warrior is on every steroid," tweeted @Mouserat_fan2.

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At this stage, it's unknown if the American Ninja Warriors participants would take drug tests before appearing on the show. The rumors can't be corroborated.

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Several 'Ninja Warrior' came under scrutiny for inappropriate conduct — including the possession of illegal substances.

According to various reports, Sopiea Kong was arrested in June 2021 after the police found 154 grams of methamphetamine in her home in Kangaroo Point, Queensland, Australia. Sopiea competed in Season 1 of Australian Ninja Warrior.

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Drew Drechsel, the winner of Season 11 of American Ninja Warrior and the third-ever person to achieve Total Victory on the show, was charged with manufacture of child pornography, enticement of a minor to travel for illicit sexual conduct, travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and use of interstate commerce to entice a minor in August 2020.

The obstacle courses used on 'American Ninja Warrior' have to get tested repeatedly.

Drug testing isn't the only testing people are curious about on the show. In a 2021 interview with Cinema Blend, Arthur Smith said that they go above and beyond to make sure that the obstacle courses are safe. As he said, there's regular testing involved.

"Safety is always first. Safety is always first. We always are very protective of everybody who comes on that course," Arthur said in response to a question on how they protect their youngest competitors. "And there's a lot, a lot, a lot of guidelines."

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"There's a warehouse that we have where we prototype every obstacle, there are testers. Test, test, test, we test constantly, constantly testing. Then we build it, then we tweak it. And there's a safety team. And there's a test team," Arthur added. "There's a ton of work that goes into obstacle development."

Arthur's interview snippets would seem to suggest that the creators of the show have put stringent regulations in place. It's perhaps best if we take the drug testing rumors with a grain of salt.

Catch new episodes of American Ninja Warrior Mondays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.

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