Cannabis Is Still a Banned Olympic Substance: Why?

Physiological Response After Consumption of Cannabis Hinders the Requirements for High-Performance Levels

Sha’Carri Richardson, the United States sprinter, is most likely to miss the Tokyo Olympics tournament as she has been tested positive for the consumption of marijuana during the trials of United States Track & Field. As the consumption of cannabis has been declared legal in various states across the country, there have been various arguments for removing cannabis from the banned Olympic substances.

Consumption of banned drugs

Sha’Carri Richardson was completely visible as she was in the lead during the Olympic Games due to the lightening running speed, killer smile, and orange hair color. She is considered to be the sixth fastest female in the history of runners and has the best record time for completing a 100m race in just 10.72 seconds. Also known as the Texas sprinter, Ms. Richardson was previously expected to become a major contender for achieving a gold medal during the Tokyo Olympics but was removed due to consumption of banned Olympic substances.

While her team members are to take to the track for 100 m women’s race on Friday, she would not be joining due to some of the banned Olympic substance that has been found inside her system during the tournament.

In the early week of July, it had been publicly announced that Sha’Carri Richardson would not represent the United States during the Tokyo Olympics as she has been tested positive for the usage of banned Olympic substance cannabis during her qualifying race.

As a punishment for breaking regulations regarding the consumption of banned Olympic substances during the Games, the United States Anti-Doping Agency has not allowed her to compete in the tournament for at least one month, along with expunging her of her recent qualifying victory at the trial race.

Although the suspension period of 30 days would technically end amid the continuation of the Tokyo Olympics, the United States Athletics has chosen not to include her with the rest of the team members.

The disqualification of Sha’Carri Richardson due to the consumption of banned Olympic substances amid the trial run has reignited a debate over the prohibition of usage of marijuana in the Olympics tournament.

Given that cannabis usage has been legalized in multiple states across America, and its property of being a performance-enhancing drug is under dispute, many individuals still wonder the reason behind banning cannabis consumption.

Cannabis as performance-enhancing drug

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has banned the utilization of cannabis (marijuana) since the organization was able to create a complete list of substances that are prohibited in the year 2004. All the products that were placed on the list had to meet at least two criteria out of three; they are harmful to the athlete’s health, have an impact on the enhancement of performance during sports activity, and are against the sports spirit.

The most issue which has been observed is with the second criteria, for weed to be a performance-enhancing substance and has been the subject for multiple late-night punchlines. The late comedian Robin Williams has joked about it, saying that the only way marijuana is to be classified under the performance-enhancing drug is if there is a big chocolate bar at the finish line of the run.

In the year 2011, WADA has defended cannabis being one of the banned Olympic substances in a paper which was later published in the Sports Medicine journal. Citing a research study on the abilities of cannabis in the reduction of anxiety, it has been found by WADA that marijuana could have an impact on athletes and help them to perform better while under pressure along with alleviation of stress levels that are experienced during and before the initiation of the competition.

Although these clinical findings regarding marijuana effects are not enough to warrant that cannabis is to be classified as a performance-enhancing substance and should be removed from the list of banned Olympic substances.

In terms of actual data of human physiology, the stress levels of the cannabis consumer do go down, but it has also shown that there is a reduction in the real performance of the user after intake.

A recently conducted research study has revealed that the usage of cannabis hinders the physiological responses that are required to produce high performance by increasing the levels of blood pressure and decreasing the balance coordination and muscular strength, thus should not be included in the banned Olympic substance list.

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