No one in India has done weed (no really, Navika ma’am), but we know Seth Rogen to know what weed does. For those who don’t know him, well, it slows you down.
So when Sha’Carri Richardson, a US athlete was banned for taking the recreational drug, it was funny/fascinating to a lot of people. I’ll explain why exactly Richardson has been banned later in the article, but first, let us look at some reactions on her ouster which is going to jeopardise her Olympic dreams.
olympic committee: she cannot race!!! weed could be a performance enhancing drug!!!!!!!!— CHRIS KLEMENS (@ChrisKlemens) July 3, 2021
me using marijuana: pic.twitter.com/vHfjjSGjtQ
If weed is a performance-enhancing drug, then why isn’t Snoop Dogg the greatest athlete of all-time? pic.twitter.com/u0oLouJa40— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) July 2, 2021
Ah yes. Because we all know how much weed enhances performance. https://t.co/stcWH0LLLW— Hazel Hayes (@TheHazelHayes) July 3, 2021
Give me that performance enhancing olympic weed— Mat Zo (@Mat_Zo) July 3, 2021
Weed is only a performance enhancing drug if you’re trying to finish a pizza solo— mom mom mom mom mom (@notmythirdrodeo) July 3, 2021
I smoked a ton of weed and just ran 100m. I’m still super slow and I think I pulled a hammy. Not performance enhancing. pic.twitter.com/fqv1CbqPui— Paul Crickard (@pcrickard) July 3, 2021
weed is only a performance enhancing drug when it enhances my appetite from zero and my will to live from also zero— james cassar 🅴 (@getcerebral) July 2, 2021
If weed was a performance enhancer, I would be able to run more than 20 feet. #FreeShacarri— King Princess (@KingPrincess69) July 2, 2021
This is the only sport weed might actually be performance enhancing https://t.co/KUCnsAhGRt— Dustin Nickerson (@DustinNickerson) July 5, 2021
society if weed was actually a performance enhancing drug pic.twitter.com/NRXQmP33SN— lauren (@laurenmalloryy) July 4, 2021
just typed “HBO Max” into the search bar of HBO Max because weed is a performance enhancing drug— Alise Morales (@AliseNavidad) July 2, 2021
This is the only person whose able to use weed as a performance enhancing drug: pic.twitter.com/rm2rsEhIDs— Matt Rain (@Matt_Rain) July 3, 2021
Sports for which weed is a performance enhancing drug:— Rachel McCartney (@RachelMComedy) July 2, 2021
-Asking your friends “do u hate me”
“Weed is a performance enhancing drug”— AmazinMaislin💧 (@MaislinJeremy) July 3, 2021
We can say with confidence that weed is not a performance-enhancing drug. pic.twitter.com/2Zgls3iLdv— comedycentral (@ComedyCentral) July 2, 2021
Now on to the technical part. This is the crux.
The World Anti-Doping Agency has a list of substances listed prohibited for competing athletes, and since USADA has decided to abide by the rules of the world organisation, it has to ban players if they are found to take any of those substances. Even if the said substance (weed in this case) is legal in the state the players belongs to.
Though pro leagues are slowly adjusting to the reality that #marijuana isn’t a performance-enhancing drug, it remains squarely on the banned list for Olympic sports. That reality will force American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson to miss the #TokyoOlympics https://t.co/yMtjIiudzH— Economic Times (@EconomicTimes) July 4, 2021
And what substances are banned? The ones which enhance performance OR pose a health risk OR endanger the “spirit of sport”.
In Richardson’s case, WADA seems to be focussing on the last factor, and has pointed out that weed relieves stress, and can give undue advantage to the athlete.
A paper written by WADA scientists, also mentions that weed use can lead to “slower reaction times and poor executive function”, hence putting everyone at risk. Right!
That’s as much sense as I could make of the whole thing, which evidently isn’t a lot. WADA needs to be clearer about the rules and honestly, do away with some since they seem like moral policing more than anything else.