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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.
ADVISORY - Cannabis Removed from In-Competition Analysis for Student-Athlete Samples— CCES (@EthicsInSPORT) August 20, 2020
The CCES has made changes to how cannabis anti-doping rules are applied for student-athletes. #CleanSport
➡️ https://t.co/TS2aiWlgav@USPORTSca @CCAAsportsACSC pic.twitter.com/Xfs89fTN6v
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.
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.