The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the global anti-doping watchdog for sports, is expected to keep cannabis on its list of prohibited substances for 2023 despite lingering questions on the drug’s effects on athletic performance, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The decision, likely to be finalized in a meeting later this month and expected to take effect from Jan. 2023, means that athletes subject to WADA’s drug-testing code will risk suspension if they test positive for cannabis.
“WADA’s Executive Committee will be asked to approve the final version of the List during its 23 September meeting, with the List itself being published on or before 1 October and coming into force on 1 January,” a WADA spokesman said, noting that the decision is still under consideration.
WADA agreed to review the status of cannabis on the prohibited list last year at the request of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and U.S. politicians after the suspension of American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson for testing positive for chemicals found in marijuana.
Amid ongoing efforts for federal legalization, nearly half of all U.S. states have approved cannabis for recreational use.
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A recent Gallup poll indicated that regular cannabis use had exceeded cigarette use for the first time in July.