Sha'Carri Richardson be damned. The track star was banned from running in the 2021 Summer Games because of a pot positive on a drug test. After giving the matter of relaxing their weed prohibition some thought over the last two years, the World Anti-Doping Agency has decided to keep the ban in place.
WADA director general Olivier Niggli says cannabis use by athletes is "against the spirit of sport," adding:
"WADA is also mindful that the few requests for THC’s removal from the Prohibited List are not supported by the experts’ thorough review. We are also conscious that the laws of many countries - as well as broad international regulatory laws and policies - support maintaining cannabis on the List at this time.”
However, WADA stopped testing for CBD in 2017.
Sha'Carri Richardson in 2021: "Don't judge me because I'm human. I just run a little faster."
WADA's decision runs contrary to major sports leagues who've started to reverse decades-long policies regarding atheletes' marijuana use. The UFC stopped testing for cannabinoids in 2021.
In 2019, MLB announced it had reached an agreement with the Players Association to remove marijuana, THC and CBD from the league’s list of Drugs of Abuse.
In a new 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement hammered out between the NFL and the NFL Players Association in 2020, players can no longer be suspended for testing positive for THC. The threshold was increased from 150 nanograms of THC from 35. Drug tests can only be given during the first two weeks of training camp.
Citing the "unusual circumstances of the pandemic," the NBA curtailed all drug testing for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 seasons.
The NHL tests for pot, but doesn't punish players with THC or CBD in their systems.
Richardson became the cause celebre of cannabis in 2021 when she failed a test for THC after the death of her mother. "I'm not encouraging anybody to do it," the runner said at the time. "I'm not saying, Oh, don't do it. If you choose to do things in your personal time, beware of the consequences or just find different ways to cope. Don't judge me because I'm human. I just run a little faster."