British Polo Players to Take Breathalyzer Tests - Prince Harry, This Means You
Champagne is the perfect accompaniment to the aristocratic sport of polo, but if you're playing rather than merely watching it at Britain's most prestigious fields you'll have to do your quaffing after the match. The game's regulatory body in the UK, the Hurlingham Polo Association, is introducing random alcohol testing for players in a bid to promote professionalism. Yes, that includes polo and party-loving royal Prince Harry (above). The limit will be set at half the amount considered unsafe for driving a car. Failing a breathalyzer test will not get a player banned for the season, the Guardian notes, but they will be prevented in playing in the day's match.
Many polo pros have welcomed the move, pointing out that a "good lunch", i.e. one accompanied by plenty of bubbly, never improves performance or safety. "It's always been in our regulations that alcohol and drugs aren't acceptable," notes HPA's chief executive David Woodd, "but now we have the machines which we didn't have before and a doctor or official on hand to use them....At the country club I wouldn't argue that there are players who will have a decent lunch and play afterward. But at the top end of the sport, most of them won't even eat, never mind drink, before they play."