An interview by German amateur dart player Jochen Graudenz with the website dartsnews.de has caused quite a stir in the German media.
In the interview, Graudenz stated that in top darts, 70 per cent of players are alcoholics. Graudenz himself does not hold a PDC Tour Card, but does appear in action on the PDC Challenge Tour. This circuit is open to players who participated in the Q-School, but did not win a Tour Card.
German darts player warns of alcohol abuse in darts: ''It seems like 70 per cent of players are alcoholics''
Graudenz further suggested that fellow countryman Max Hopp also drank a few glasses too many at times. However, Hopp told German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung that he did not agree with these statements.
Germany's top darters Gabriel Clemens and Martin Schindler were not mentioned by name, but indirect reference is obviously made to these two players when Graudenz points out that the bulk of the tour is alcoholic.
These statements have caused misunderstanding among the managers of Clemens and Schindler. Clemens' management speaks of an "alleged professional player who has not yet been present at any professional event at which Gabriel has played". Graudenz would therefore not be able to make "no judgement on the conditions at the tournaments or generalising to all players".
Clemens disappointed with Germany's elimination in World Cup of Darts semi-final: "Couldn't take our chances"
Schindler's management came up with a similar response. "Graudenz is not a darts professional", especially as he "is not in possession of a tour card and therefore does not participate at all in the tournaments in which my client competes".
The PDC has also not yet responded to the German amateur dart player's statements. Incidentally, Graudenz does seem to fear a sanction from the disciplinary committee. In the past, fines have been handed out to players who made statements about alcohol consumption in interviews. For example, Klaasen stated around the 2016 World Darts Championship that alcohol should actually be on the doping list and that only two or three darters from the then top-32 world rankings would pass a breathalyzer test. The Darts Regulation Authority (DRA) fined him for that at the time.
Preview European Darts Matchplay 2023: Battle for Euro Tour title and qualification for World Matchplay erupts in Trier
Ein Dartsspieler erweckt mit öffentlichen Aussagen den Eindruck, 70 Prozent der Profis würden alkoholisiert auf der Bühne stehen. Ist da was dran? @KoeEisenberger hat bei Martin Schindler und Gabriel Clemens nachgefragt. https://t.co/AxMGfkCZCu— Süddeutsche Zeitung (@SZ) June 29, 2023