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The World Anti-Doping Agency will reconsider its cannabis ban, in what the agency says is a response to “demands from a number of players” in international athletics. But it’s unclear when, or if, a controversial policy change could go into effect: Cannabis will remain banned for the 2022 sporting season.
The news comes after WADA’s cannabis ban prevented US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from competing in the Tokyo Olympics, despite her 100-meter victory at the US Olympic Trials.
WADA’s executive committee has approved a plan to hold a “scientific review of the status of cannabis” to begin next year, the group said. But he reiterated that cannabis remains on his list of banned substances – a new version of which is expected to be released by October 1.
Richardson was put on a 30-day suspension this summer after testing positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The move sparked a wave of support for Richardson, at a time when dozens of US states have legalized marijuana to some extent.
The ban has also sparked widespread confusion over why marijuana could be considered a performance enhancing drug.
“I didn’t think the evidence base for marijuana would be particularly strong,” Dr Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic told NPR in July. “But looking at the papers yesterday, I was surprised how weak it is.”