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Canadian university athletes will no longer be drug-tested for cannabis

Nearly two years after cannabis was legalized in Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport has made a change to how cannabis anti-doping rules are applied to university student-athletes.

Any athlete who competes only in U SPORTS or Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association events will no longer be tested for cannabis.

However, the revised protocol does not apply to athletes who are included in their sport’s national athlete pool.

Athletes who are competing in non-U SPORTS or non-CCAA events, like another organization’s national championship or an international event, will still need to follow the World Anti-Doping Agency’s rules as well.

Those rules state that cannabis is still on the prohibited list.

<who>Photo Credit: CCAA

Historically, cannabis cases in U SPORTS and CCAA have been unrelated to performance enhancement – rather, they are inadvertent violations caused by the fact that cannabis is only prohibited in-competition and can take 30 days to clear from a human body,” said a statement from the CCES.

“As a result, the CCES was motivated to use the flexibility allowed within the Code to develop the new protocol for student-athletes who meet the criteria.”

The CCES has long advocated for the removal of cannabis from the WADA’s prohibited list and these changes in Canada reflect a shifting societal view of how to manage cannabis education and harm reduction.

Student-athletes will still be subject to any conduct or sport-related codes put in place by their institutions.

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