Friday, March 3, 2023

Student presentation exploring World Anti-Doping Agency’s approach to cannabis

DownloadShowcasing the diversity of issues covered when students in my Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform seminar "take over" the second half of the class by giving presentations, the third presentation scheduled for next week will look at sports.  Specifically, my student will explore "reconceptualizing WADA’s 'spirit of sport' criterion," and here is how she has described her topic along with background readings:

Reconceptualizing WADA’s “spirit of sport” criterion:

            In order to be placed on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited substance list, two out of three criteria must be met: (1) posing a health risk to athletes, (2) potentially enhancing performance or (3) violating the spirit of sport.  While the first two criterion are rooted in fact and science, the last criterion has raised controversy as a “catch-all provision” that is based on vague ideals with little operative force.

Last September, WADA announced that Cannabis would remain on the 2022 prohibited list.  Interestingly enough, WADA only cited to this third criterion, “the spirit of sport”, in their explanation as to why cannabis remains on the list.

This presentation briefly explores why cannabis does not meet the first two criterion, and then moves to attack the use of the third criterion as an overreach of WADA’s power.  After exploring the consistent drug use in sport dating back to 776 BCE, and then discussing the modern use of WADA’s therapeutic use exemption, it becomes clear that drug use is not the antithesis of “the spirit of sport”.  Finally, this presentation makes procedural recommendations to WADA and questions whether the spirit of sport criterion should be abolished, edited, or left as-is.

Suggested pre-reads:

From CBS News, "World Anti-Doping Agency rules that marijuana will remain on banned substances list"

From Athletes for Care, "It’s Time to Stop Demonizing Athletes for Using Marijuana"

From, "Cannabis in Sports: Unpacking Exemptions for Therapeutic Use"

From Scientific American, "Weed Shouldn’t Be Banned for Elite Athletes, Some Experts Say"

Assembled readings on specific topics, International Marijuana Laws and Policies, Sports, Who decides | Permalink


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