It’s been almost a week since athlete Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for marijuana use, just days after winning the US trials for the Olympics. The 21 year old qualified for Tokyo’s 100-meter individual race, becoming the youngest woman to win the event since Alice Brown in the 80s.
Richardson received a one month ban which threatened her participation on the 2020 Olympics, a threat that became real last Tuesday when her name was not included in the final US team that will be traveling to Tokyo.
Despite she competing in Oregon where weed is legal, despite the massive support she received across social media and from other pro athletes, despite she accepting that her weed use was to cope with the DEATH OF HER MOTHER a few days before the competition, she will not be in the Olympics this summer.
We will not see Sha’Carri winning medals in Tokyo, but we can look at the top five athletes who smoke weed and win gold medals.
Photo by Simon Bruty / Sports Illustrated
Yeah, you know this guy loves to treat his aches and pains with cannabis. Phelps was caught on film smoking from a bong in 2009, just 3 months after his historic 8 gold medal wins in Beijing. Phelps was suspended for several months as a result of the scandal.
Since then, Phelps has become the USA all-time leading medalist.
Photo by Celebs Journey / Flickr
Usain Bolt admitted that as a youngster growing up in Jamaica, he occasionally used cannabis. Bolt hasn’t had any run-ins with the International Olympic Committee regarding cannabis use while competing, but I have a hunch that he knows how to keep things low key.
Now, Bolt is THE fastest man alive. If he wants to thank weed for that title, I’m sure that’ be OK.
Bolt recently said in an interview that he will win gold in all three events he is running. There is certainly an air of confidence that surrounds Olympians like Phelps and Bolt. Is it “canna-confidence”?
Photo by Ross Rebagliati / Flickr
Ross Rebagliati does not have the name recognition that Phelps and Bolt do, but his role in cannabis policy reform in the Olympics is huge. In 1998, Rebagliati was awarded a gold medal for snowboarding, but not before testing positive for THC.
Fortunately, the International Olympic Committee hadn’t placed cannabis on the banned substances list yet, so they could not take his medal away. Shortly after Rebagliati’s run-in with the Olympic weed haters, the Committee voted to add THC to the banned substances list.
It remains on the list, but in 2013 the Committee voted to increase the acceptable nanograms to 150 in an effort to differentiate between active and passive users.
Photo by David Ramos / Getty Images
Nicholas Delpopolo is an American Judo competitor. At the 2012 London Games, Delpopolo tested positive for THC and was subsequently banned from the games. He claimed that he was unknowingly given an edible that was laced with THC.
Whether or not he ate the edible on purpose is debatable. I would have to assume that an Olympic level fighter knows his body. He is not going to risk an ass whipping because of being too high.
Photo by Marianna Massey / Getty Images
Jamie Anderson is the lone female on this gold medal top 5. Anderson won Olympic Gold in the 2014 Sochi Games for Women’s Slopestyle. Winter sports stars are often looked at with a suspicious eye when it comes to marijuana use.
Though Anderson did not fail a drug test, nor was she punished for cannabis use, she did lead reporters to believe that she is a cannabis user.
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