Chris Perkins named Vegas Shoot Champion as Bob Eyler handed two-year doping ban

Canada’s Chris Perkins has been named 2018 Vegas Shoot Champion following the disqualification of Bob Eyler for the violation of anti-doping rules.

Following the conclusion of the full investigation and arbitration procedure, the US Anti-Doping Agency and NFAA also handed Eyler a two-year period of ineligibility from 28 September 2018. This sanction is fully recognised by World Archery.

Included in the announcement was a statement confirming that ignorance of the anti-doping rules is not regarded as a viable defence. If an athlete needs to take a prohibited substance for medical purposes then that athlete must follow the proper procedure and obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) prior to competition.

The Vegas Shoot is the largest indoor archery tournament in the world, attracting over 3500 archers and distributing a total prize fund in excess of 400,000 USD.

Following three days of competition in the championship open class, the archers who scored a perfect 900 points progress to a sudden-death shootdown for the main prize. They are joined by one archer who scored 899, named the ‘Lucky Dog’, who can either win the tournament or finish bottom of the finalists.

Perkins was the Lucky Dog in 2018 and finished second to Eyler in the shootdown. With Eyler’s disqualification, Perkins was promoted from ninth place to first.

As well as collecting the 52,000 USD grand prize, he becomes the second person in history to win The Vegas Shoot from the Lucky Dog position after Sergio Pagni in 2016.

World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen said: “Discovering instances of doping is never a nice thing, however the professional manner in which this case has been handled by the NFAA and US Anti-Doping Agency should be praised. World Archery endorses the sanction and fully supports the efforts taken to protect archery’s integrity as a clean sport.”

“Looking past the specifics of this case, it should serve as a reminder that all athletes participating in elite sport should ensure they understand the rules around anti-doping.”

Vegas Shoot president Bruce Cull said: “It is important for us that all archers compete on an even playing field, especially as the level of prize money continues to grow. This process has been a good learning experience for us as an industry and our goal is to introduce doping control at all professional archery events in the near future.”

The next edition of The Vegas Shoot takes place on 8-10 February 2019 in Las Vegas, USA.