WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY SAY MARIJUANA USE MAKES ATHLETES BAD ROLE MODELS

CCJ Gabriel
WORLD ANTI-DOPING AGENCY SAY MARIJUANA USE MAKES ATHLETES BAD ROLE MODELS

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) experts argue that athletes' use of marijuana violates the "spirit of sport," making them unfit role models. The WADA's Prohibited List Expert Advisory Group stated that marijuana consumption contradicts the "spirit of sport," which includes universal values of sport and four aspects that are particularly relevant to the discussion on cannabis remaining on the banned substances list. The group cited factors such as performance, character and education, respect for rules and laws, and respect for self and other participants. They also noted that marijuana can cause physical impairment, psychiatric symptoms, and cognitive development, and that its use during adolescence can inhibit cognitive development. WADA maintained the ban after a year-long review, but the group noted that other cannabis reforms, such as raising the amount of THC in athletes' urine, are not prohibited under its rules. WADA has not requested the removal of cannabis from the Prohibited List, but USADA CEO Travis Tygart has argued for a change in the organization's approach to marijuana. USADA has expressed sympathy for the suspended runner, Richardson, and suggested a reevaluation of the marijuana prohibition. As states move to legalize cannabis, sports organizations have worked to enact reform, such as the National Basketball Association and its players union signing a collective bargaining agreement, the National Collegiate Athletics Association proposing to remove marijuana from its banned substances list, and the NFL and its players union awarding funding to support research on CBD as a pain treatment alternative. The New York Media Softball League has also partnered with a Kentucky-based CBD company, inspired by Major League Baseball's recent partnerships with CBD businesses. Of course, the UFC was ahead of the curve, allowing marijuana use before and after fights in most states.

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