News | 07.01.2022

U.S. Lawmakers Want To Protect Athletes From Disqualification Over Positive THC Tests

A report from the House Appropriations Committee calls on sports regulators to change their outlook on cannabis.

Sports regulators must reconsider their rules around cannabis.

While that may seem far off, U.S. lawmakers are touching on the issue within its appropriations legislation for the fiscal year of 2023.

The leaders of the House Appropriations Committee are urging international sports regulators to “change how cannabis is treated” and stop penalizing athletes who test positive for cannabis.

The topic is only coming to light now that the U.S. cannabis industry has grown to be one of the most profitable markets in the country.

With such a booming industry, cannabis is more accessible than ever. This has prompted athletes to use cannabis for personal reasons like recovery, stress relief, and falling asleep.

One of those athletes is two-time Women’s World Cup soccer champ, 2019 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, and Olympic gold medalist Megan Rapinoe. She even has her own cannabis company geared toward athletes with her sister Rachel Rapinoe.

On the other end, we have athletes like Sha’Carri Richardson, who tested positive for cannabis and was suspended for one month, prompting her to miss her sprint.

Because cannabis is becoming more mainstream, the House Appropriations Committee is now calling on the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to reconsider suspending or banning players from events because of a positive cannabis test.

Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) and Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services released a report noting what it expects from USADA.

“The Committee encourages USADA to support additional research on the effects of cannabis on athletic performance,” notes the report.

This includes “whether marijuana use during the in-competition period delivers performance-enhancing effects, and to engage in efforts to change how cannabis is treated under the World Anti-Doping Code and World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List,” the committee concluded.

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