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

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

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

Cannabis is currently banned in competition and the ban will apply 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 a performance enhancer, it is classified as an “addiction”, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has said with reference to a worldwide code.

Richardson said she used the drug after hearing from a reporter that her biological mother had died – 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 challenger and won her 100 m test race with a time of 10.86 seconds on 19 June.

The suspension was heavily criticized and called for a review 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 an advisory program.

Sha 'Carri Richardson
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Sha’Carri Richardson said she used the drug to deal 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 that death sent her into a “state of emotional panic” and added: “Do not judge me, for I am human.”

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