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World Anti-Doping Agency keeps cannabis on banned substance list

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Cannabis should remain on the list of substances considered doping worldwide. The information was provided by a spokesperson for the World Anti-Doping Agency, in an exclusive article published in Wall Street Journal. After strong calls from the United States of America (USA) and the Netherlands for an easing of this ban, the International Agency appears to be inclined to continue its ban.

Despite advances in regulations regarding the use of cannabis, medicinal or recreational, the world of professional sport has zero tolerance for cannabis, which is included in a list of prohibited substances, managed by the International Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The updates of these lists are carried out in conjunction with the anti-doping authorities of the various countries, an updated version being in force at the beginning of each year.

Netherlands against ban
In July, the Dutch anti-doping authority manifested its disagreement with the maintenance of this status prohibitive in relation to cannabis and cannabinoids, “In our opinion, cannabinoids should not be part of the anti-doping program”.

In a similar way, the United States of America positioned itself, after of the loss of an athlete in 2021, Sha'Carri Richardson, due to a positive cannabis test. The White House and the US Anti-Doping Agency were the spokespersons for these claims, questioning whether the rules regarding cannabis should be maintained.

Cannabis withdrawal possible but unlikely

Although the president of the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) strongly criticizes WADA, the latter claims that no request has come from the US regarding the removal of cannabis from the list of prohibited substances. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the WADA spokesperson said that “to date, neither the US authorities nor the US Anti-Doping Agency have requested the removal of cannabis from the Prohibited Substances List”.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart, who in the last year stated that “the rules regarding cannabis need to change” stated that “for nearly a decade, USADA has advocated that WADA change its approach to cannabis so that a positive test is not a violation unless it has been used intentionally to improve performance or endanger health or safety. of competitors”.

The spokesperson for the World Anti-Doping Agency emphasized that the list is provisional until the end of this month: “The draft Prohibited List for 2023 is being considered”. Also according to statements made to the WSJ, “the WADA Executive Committee will be asked to approve the final version of the List during its meeting on 23 September, with the List itself being published no later than 1 October, coming into force on 1 January. of 2023.”

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