The use of marijuana is still banned in-competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). If an athlete tests positive for cannabinoids above a certain threshold, it can lead to suspensions, fines, loss of prize money, and disqualification from an event. Whether an athlete who uses cannabinoids will test positive in-competition depends on how much they use and when they use it.
Cannabinoids Are a “Substance of Abuse”
The WADA still bans the use of cannabinoids in-competition. While new rules in effect this year allow for a sanction to be reduced to 1 month for an athlete who tests positive for cannabinoids, athletes can still be banned for up to two years for the use of cannabinoids depending on the facts and circumstances of their use.
Almost all-natural and synthetic cannabinoids are prohibited, including those found in:
- Cannabis (such as hashish and marijuana)
- Cannabis products
- Synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effect of THC
- Natural and synthetic THCs
Cannabidiol or CBD is not banned by WADA. However, before you take CBD, you should be aware that CBD can be contaminated with THC, which could cause a positive test.
Potential Penalties for Marijuana Use
An athlete who tests positive for cannabinoids can still be banned from competition for up to 2 years. Penalties include:
- Disqualification from the event where testing took place
- Forfeiture of medals, points, and prizes
- A period of ineligibility ranging from 1 month to 2 years depending on the use
Sports teams also face consequences if more than one athlete tests positive. In some cases, the entire team can be disqualified from competition.
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