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WADA to review cannabis ban

The World Anti-Doping Agency says a scientific review of the drug will be conducted next year

Photo by: Kimzy Nanney

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced Tuesday that the organization will be reviewing the status of cannabis on its banned substance list beginning next year. The announcement comes just two months after American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was left off the Olympic team after testing positive for the drug during the U.S. Olympic trials.

When Richardson was suspended from competition in July, athletes spoke out in support of the 21-year-old. The case sparked a conversation surrounding the use of marijuana in elite athletics, and many called for a review of the drug’s illegal status. Among these critics was the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

“In addition, following receipt of requests from a number of stakeholders, the [advisory committee] endorsed the decision of the List Expert Advisory Group to initiate in 2022 a scientific review of the status of cannabis,” WADA said in a news release on their website. Cannabis will, however, remain on the banned list in 2022.

CBD exception

RELATED: Should cyclists take CBD for recovery?

Although Cannabis is still a banned substance for athletes, in 2018 the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD, a cannabinoid that can be derived from cannabis, from its list of banned substances.  CDB is legal and many use it for recovery, but athletes currently taking it still have to exercise extreme caution with the products they use. All other cannabinoids found in cannabis are still banned, and broad- or full-spectrum CBD products can contain trace amounts of banned substances such as THC.

This article originally appeared in Canadian Running Magazine