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Published: Monday, October 18, 2021
The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) provided a letter of support to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) following the September 14, 2021 announcement of WADA’s Executive Committee recommendation that a scientific review of cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) will be undertaken by the agency in 2022. The announcement from WADA comes after the high profile disqualification of an American track athlete for cannabis use prior to the 2020 Summer Olympics. AHPA also provided a letter of support to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for the July 7, 2021 statement issued by USADA following this disqualification that provided context for the complexity of the issue of cannabinoids in sports, and that expressed support for continuing to evaluate WADA’s in-competition ban on cannabinoids.
WADA’s prohibited substances list currently includes an in-competition prohibition on cannabinoids (with the exception of cannabidiol or CBD), including all natural and synthetic cannabinoids, for example those found in cannabis (hashish, marijuana) and cannabis products; synthetic cannabinoids that mimic the effects of THC; and natural and synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols.
AHPA’s Cannabis and Sports Nutrition Committees endorsed these communications of support for WADA undertaking this scientific review, and encourage that it be conducted in a collaborative manner with USADA and other relevant stakeholder organizations. Anti-doping agencies and national sport governing bodies should work cooperatively to evaluate data on whether cannabinoids provide any competitive advantage to athletes and to determine whether some or all cannabinoids can be removed from WADA’s list of substances that are currently prohibited in-competition.