Cannabis in Sport
ProhibitionCommon QuestionsViolations and SanctionsLegalization
Cannabinoids have been on the WADA Prohibited List since 2004Prohibited List inclusion criteria:The substance must meet two of the following:Has the potential to enhance sport performanceRepresents an actual or potential health risk to the athleteViolates the spirit of sportDiscussion: Where does cannabis fall in these criteria?
“But it’s not performance-enhancing…”
Common attitude in the sport communityHow might it enhance performance?What sports might benefit from cannabis use?Intent is important
Prohibition in Sport
All forms are prohibitedBanned ‘In Competition’ onlyAny traces in the system over the threshold limit during that time is prohibitedThreshold substanceLimit was increased in 2013
THC and CBD
Tetrahydrocannabidiol(THC)Psychoactive cannabinoidProhibitedCannabidiol(CBD)Non-psychoactive cannabinoidNot prohibitedStill, exercise caution
What are the clearance times?Inconsistent retention and clearance timesDepends on the individualCan I use it for medical purposes?Self-medication ≠ medically-justified usageMedical use: CCES has a medical exemption process.
How do I avoid ever having a positive test?Don’t use it.Is that the only way?Yes.
Consider alternativestomedical marijuanaIf medicalmarijuana isa necessary therapy,applyfor a medicalexemptionEnsurethat non-medical consumption is not habitual orabusive
Ensurethat consumption is outside of a competitionperiodEnsurethat consumption is a minimum of 30 days before the start of a competition period.
Cannabis - Violations & Sanctions
Potential sanctions:Ranges from a warning to a 4-year banAwards, records can be stripped no matter the sanctionEven if the sanction is only a warning!
Legalization ≠ End to ProhibitionBill C-45 –An act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other ActsWADA is a global organization and does not change the List because of changes to Canadian law.
Cannabis remains prohibited, even when legalAthletes remain liable for anything found in their sample, regardless of intent and timingThe only way to 100% avoid a positive test is abstinenceIf the decision is made to use anyway, take steps to minimize riskFor legitimate medical use, keep proper documentation, apply for a medical exemption, and declare use on the Doping Control Form
Cannabis in Sport –cces.ca/cannabisGlobal DRO –globaldro.comMedical Exemption Wizard –cces.ca/mewizardQuestions? Emailsubstances@cces.ca