World Anti-Doping Agency to review cannabis ban for athletes following Sha'Carri Richardson suspension

2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials- Sha'Carri Richardson
2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials- Sha'Carri Richardson

In response to US sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson's disqualification based on a positive cannabis test from the the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, an advisory group to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) will review whether cannabis should be considered a banned substance or not.

The World Anti-Doping Agency launched a review of its marijuana prohibition in order to determine if it should remain a banned substance or not.

Richardson faced a huge blow at a time when she was the favorite to win gold at the Olympics. She tested positive for cannabis, popularly known as marijuana, in June, just a few days ahead of the Olympics.

However, the 21-year-old Richardson was ruled out of the Olympics after being handed a 30-day suspension following the positive test in the wake of her 100m victory at the US Olympic trials in Eugene in June.

The suspension sparked an outpouring of sympathy and calls for a review of anti-doping rules, including the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Richardson's case triggered debate about marijuana's continued inclusion on Wada's banned list, with celebrities and fellow athletes criticizing the rule. Several athletes came out terming the rule as 'outdated and unnecessary'.

Following Sha'Carri Richardson's Tokyo Olympics ban, the World Anti-Doping Agency is set to review whether cannabis should remain a banned substance. Wada says the scientific review will begin next year and that cannabis will remain prohibited in 2022.#TheGamePlan

WADA announced a cannabis scientific review to be initiated in 2022

Cannabis is currently prohibited from all competitions.

"A scientific review will be initiated next year. Cannabis is currently prohibited in competition and will continue to be in 2022," said WADA on Tuesday.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe is among those who have backed calls for a cannabis review.

"It's not an unreasonable moment to have a review. "It's sensible - nothing is set in stone. You adapt and occasionally reassess," said Coe.
In July 2021 Sha’Carri Richardson tested positive for cannabis.This prevented her from competing in the Olympics where she was one of the favourites to win her race.Now, In September an advisory group is considering changing this regulation for athletes moving forward.

Richardson made a not so great comeback on track

Weeks after a positive drug test cost her the Olympic dream, Richardson made a comeback in the 100-meter dash, where she finished 9th. Richardson, after her defeat, told the media:

“You know what I'm capable of. Count me out if you want to. Talk all the s—- you want, 'cause I'm here to stay. I'm not done. I'm the sixth-fastest woman in this game, ever. And can't nobody ever take that from me. Congratulations to the winners. Congratulations to the people that won, but they're not done seeing me yet. Period," said Richardson after finishing last on her return to the track.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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