Cannabis will not be removed from the prohibited list; WADA rejected the demand

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rejected the demand to remove cannabis from the list of prohibited substances. The demand comes after US sprinter Shaw Richardson missed the Olympics last year after testing positive for cannabis.

World athletics chief Sebastian Coe and others have called for a review of the inclusion of cannabis in the list of banned substances.

Ko told reporters ahead of the Tokyo Olympics that he did not think there was anything unreasonable in reviewing the decision. It is completely illogical. Koh added that nothing is irreversible and decisions should be reviewed on occasion.

However, the World Anti-Doping Agency said in a statement on Friday after an executive committee meeting in Sydney that it had decided to keep THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, on the banned list. The agency said that for a substance to be placed on the agency’s banned list, it must meet at least two of three criteria.

These include the ability to enhance performance, the potential to affect the athlete’s health, and the loss of the essence of sport.

Regarding the decision, WADA’s expert committee held discussions with sportspersons, including those using cannabis. The scientific studies conducted in connection with the said subject were also examined.

WADA’s Ethics Expert Advisory Group has also decided that the use of cannabis affects the very essence of sport. The agency said THC was banned only from competitions and raised in 2013 to 150 ng/ml for a positive test.

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WADA’s director Olivier Nigli said in a statement that the decision on how to deal with THC was not arbitrary. He added that WADA is aware of the different opinions and perceptions around the world and in certain countries regarding this substance.

The agency also noted that experts do not support requests to remove THC from the banned list. Nigli noted that many national and international laws support keeping cannabis on the prohibited list.

Meanwhile, WADA has confirmed that tramadol, a powerful painkiller opioid, will be added to the banned list from January 1, 2024. Tramadol has been banned from cycling since 2019, WADA said in a statement.

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