In Harry Potter and HBP Professor Slughorn says that

"Now, I must give you warning that Felix Felicis is a banned substance in organized competitions . . . sporting events, for instance, examinations, or elections."

This seems logical as it would give the person an unfair advantage. My question is that how would you know if someone is using the potion.

For example if a player turns up at a Quidditch match after drinking Felix Felicis how would it be detected. I mean, the day is supposed to be perfect for the person, so he would anyhow escape the check by luck.

So how do we know if someone is "doping" with the luck potion?


Presumably not.

Ron Weasley was believed to have used Felix Felicis during the Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match during Half-Blood Prince, if not by the school authorities then at least by Ron and Hermione. Ron's flying was unnaturally good.

With half an hour of the game gone, Gryffindor were leading sixty points to zero, Ron having made some truly spectacular saves, some by the very tips of his gloves, and Ginny having scored four of Gryffindor's six goals. This effectively stopped Zacharias wondering loudly whether the two Weasleys were only there because Harry liked them...
(Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14, Felix Felicis).

It eventually emerges that Ron didn't take Felix Felicis at all but was operating under the effects of placebo. Nevertheless, he convinced Hermione and his performance may have raised doubts amongst the teachers for being especially strong. Yet Ron is never reprimanded or questioned for using a banned substance, even when the teachers knew that Ron's close friend had a batch of Felix at his disposal.

This may be because allegations of doping are difficult (or impossible) to prove, or because Hogwarts-level Quidditch is too small-fry to conduct such investigations. We don't know either way.

Presumably players competing in the British and Irish Quidditch League or the Quidditch World Cup would be subject to greater scrutiny. There would be little point in making Felix Felicis a banned substance if the rules were not enforced. There's no detail in canon of any anti-doping operation, however - even in the companion book Quidditch Through the Ages - so this point is pure conjecture.

  • Doping in college level football in the US is at endemic levels precisely because there's little or no testing. – Valorum Jan 20 '18 at 11:58
  • @Valorum And presumably at Hogwarts too, which is my point – The Dark Lord Jan 20 '18 at 12:03
  • "There would be little point in making Felix Felicis a banned substance if the rules were not enforced." This is true, but implies that it can be detected (you're saying it can't be). If it can't be detected, then there would be a strong motivation for all members of a team to take it, even if that motivation is only to level the playing-field with the other team (who must be assumed to have taken it). This would make banning it dubious, without detection. Given that we know that it's banned, it's a more reasonable assumption that it can be detected, even if detecting it was not shown. – Makyen Jan 20 '18 at 22:29
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    @Makyen You're forgetting how difficult it is to brew and how dangerous it is if brewed incorrectly or taken in too high a dosage. These caveats ensure that Felix is really rare. Harry only had if because he had a very talented Potions Master to make it for him. That wasn't an option for most teams. Whether it was detectable or not we can't say. I'm suggesting that professional Quidditch may have some kind of doping procedure. I'm not committing either way on whether Hogwarts does or whether any doping tests would be effective. We simply don't have that information. – The Dark Lord Jan 20 '18 at 22:34
  • Why are you answering questions on muggle forums?! There's better things to do... – VortexYT Jan 21 '18 at 20:29

Since, by definition, someone who's taken Felix Felicis couldn't be accused during their lucky period, since their luck would cause the accusation to be shrugged off or the testing procedure to throw a false-negative, it stands to reason that the detection takes place after the match, in the same way that we detect mundane cheating, through observation and analysis of the individual's performance.

Even the most accomplished player will occasionally make small errors during their game. A player who makes zero errors (and is capable of performing plays that defy logical sense like repeatedly hitting one-in-a-million shots) is almost certainly abusing Felix and would be sanctioned accordingly.

Additionally, there may also be some physical trace in the blood or urine. At a professional level, if an adjudicator was to detect the separate presence of Aswinder Egg, Murtlap, Squill and Occamy in a sample, it would be taken as proof-positive of cheating.

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    Since it's a potion, there may be traces in blood/urine after the effects wear off. At a professional level, this is probably tested, but at Hogwarts no-one would really care. (Same for using particular steroids at a school match in real life) – marcellothearcane Jan 20 '18 at 10:02
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    Presumably someone using Felix Felicis wouldn’t be making repeated one-in-a-million shots and things like that, precisely because that would reveal them as a Felix cheat, thus negating the potion’s purpose. They would instead win by making natural blunders that just happened to work in that particular situation (goalie dodges to the wrong side, but someone hits the chaser just as they’re throwing the Quaffle and it happens to go awry and end up where the goalie mis-dodged, etc.), or indeed by your opponents just making more errors than usual. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 20 '18 at 11:11
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - Someone who is unusually lucky would be immediately obvious to the umpires... in hindsight. – Valorum Jan 20 '18 at 11:14
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    We cannot assume that there would be traces of Aswinder Egg, Murtlap, Squill and Occamy. I only say this because it is clear that advanced potion making is very different to simply the mixing of these ingredients. I have always assumed they make new "compounds" as part of this process. Still, there might be traces of these new "compounds". – josh Jan 20 '18 at 11:19
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    @josh - Sure, and without a canon source other than the quote in the question, we're left guessing. – Valorum Jan 20 '18 at 11:25

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