Right here’s why the Olympics are more durable on marijuana than professional sports activities

Although the professional leagues are slowly adjusting to the reality that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug, it remains firmly on the banned list for Olympic sports.

That reality will force American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson to miss the Olympics this month.

Shortly after she won the Oregon Olympics last month, she tested positive for chemicals in marijuana. Although it was recognized that the drug was not used for performance enhancement purposes, Richardson still had her results deleted and was given a month’s suspension.

A couple of questions about marijuana policy in sports:

Q: If marijuana isn’t seen as performance enhancing, why is it still banned?

A: According to the US Anti-Doping Agency, “to get into … performance and c) it is against the spirit of sport.” Although WADA has raised the threshold for a positive test, it has not removed marijuana from the list, as she still claims that the drug meets at least two of the above criteria. Also according to USADA: The World Anti-Doping Code 2021 re-classifies THC as a “substance of abuse” because it is often used in society outside of sport.

Q: What has recently changed in American professional sports leagues?

A: All of the leagues have eased their marijuana restrictions a lot over the past few years. For example, the NFL has raised the threshold for a positive test and abolished suspensions. And the NBA stopped random testing for marijuana in March 2020. These changes have occurred as laws banning marijuana use in the United States and around the world have been relaxed, and studies linking marijuana to medicinal and pain relieving benefits have become more common.

Q: What changes have there been in the Olympic testing program?

A: Not long after the London Olympics in 2012, international regulators raised the threshold for a positive test from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 ng / m. They stated that the new threshold is an attempt to ensure that use is detected during the competition, but not use in the days and weeks prior to the competition. The penalty for a positive test if an athlete can determine that the drug was not used to improve performance is three months. This can be shortened to one month when the athlete completes the consultation.

Q: If Richardson’s suspension is 30 days and ends on July 27th, why can’t she compete in the Olympic 100, which starts on July 30th?

A: Because her first place in exams, which earned her the spot, was removed from the record books because of the positive test.

Q: Could she still take part in the Olympics?

A: Since her suspension will end before the women’s 4 × 100 relay starts, there is a chance she could be called up to the team. But the relay pool will probably be filled by athletes who have a result from the tests. Richardson does not officially have a result so it would potentially require some legal battle or collaboration from other athletes to get them onto the team.

Q: Could Richardson appeal the judgment?

A: Although athletes have the right to appeal positive tests, two people familiar with the case told The Associated Press that Richardson is not contesting their case. People didn’t want their names to be used in doping cases because of the confidentiality.

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