World Anti-Doping Agency Reveals Cannabis Ban After Top American Athlete Forced to Miss Tokyo Olympics | UK News

World Anti-Doping Agency Reveals Cannabis Ban After Top American Athlete Forced to Miss Tokyo Olympics |  UK News

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will review whether cannabis should remain a banned substance for athletes.

The move follows the American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson missing it Olympics in Tokyo after testing positive for the drug in June.

Cannabis is currently banned in competition, and the ban will remain in effect in 2022, WADA said.

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Sha’Carri Richardson had accepted a one-month ban

An advisory group to WADA will begin the scientific review next year.

Although cannabis is not considered to be performance-enhancing, it is classified as a “substance for abuse,” the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has said, citing a worldwide code.

Richardson said she used the drug after hearing from a journalist that her biological mother was dead – a week before she began Olympic trials in Oregon, where cannabis is legal.

The 21-year-old’s test results were disqualified after she tested positive for THC, the banned chemical found in cannabis.

She had been seen as a top competitor and won her 100m test run with a time of 10.86 seconds on 19 June.

The suspension was widely criticized and sparked calls for a revision of anti-doping rules, including by USADA.

What could have been a three-month sanction was reduced to one because Richardson agreed to participate in a counseling program.

Sha 'Carri Richardson
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Sha’Carri Richardson said she used the drug to cope with her mother’s death

“The rules are clear, but it’s heartbreaking on many levels,” said USADA CEO Travis Tygart.

USA Track and Field had described the situation as “incredibly unfortunate and devastating for everyone involved”.

Richardson had apologized to fans, saying death sent her into a “state of emotional panic”, adding: “Do not judge me, for I am a human being.”

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