United States Sha’Carri Richardson missed the Olympics due to testing positive for the recreational drug which has forced the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee to endorse a scientific review into cannabis’ status as a banned substance.
The WADA’s Prohibited List has named Cannabis’ as one of the banned drugs which has come under fresh scrutiny after Richardson missed the Olympics due to returning a positive result after injecting herself. This banned drug is legal in many American states and decriminalized across much of the world.
Richardson won the women’s 100m at the US Olympic trials but failed to travel with the team to Tokyo after she was banned by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for a month and her results at the trials disqualified.
Richardson said she had ingested marijuana after learning from a reporter that her biological mother had died and was in Oregon, where it is legal.
World Athletics President Sebastian Coe is among those to have queried the cannabis ban, saying a review “should be” carried out, while Richardson’s suspension sparked particular backlash in the US.
Cannabis will remain banned in 2022 while the review initiated by WADA’s List Expert Advisory Group is carried out.
WADA said “there will be limited modifications” only to the Prohibited List for 2022, following the Executive Committee’s latest meeting in Istanbul.
A modification prohibiting all injectable routes of administration of glucocorticoids in competition was approved in September 2020, and will be implemented from January 1 next year.
The delay was made to allow more time for communication and education of athletes and medical personnel with regards to the change to help them avoid inadvertent adverse analytical findings and for laboratories to update their procedures.