In news- The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said that it would initiate a scientific review of the cannabis ban for athletes. It reviews its list of prohibited substances every year and the new review will suggest whether a drug should remain on the list after 2022.
- In July, 2021, American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson had tested positive for cannabis during the US selection trials for the Tokyo Olympics.
- As a consequence, the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned her for a month, and did not include her in the American team.
- Her disqualification reignited the debate over the cannabis ban in Olympic sports, given that cannabis is legal in many American states.
- In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to make buying and selling of marijuana for recreational use legal.
- Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain and South Africa and several countries have decriminalised it to a certain degree.
- India has not legalised it.
- WADA, according to its code, prohibits substances that meet two of three criteria-
- It enhances, or could potentially enhance an athlete’s performance;
- It poses a health risk to athletes;
- It violates ‘the spirit of sport’;
However, it does not specifically say which criteria are violated because of the consumption of marijuana.
About World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-
- It is a non-profit foundation initiated by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to promote, coordinate, and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.
- It was set up on 10 November 1999 in Lausanne, Switzerland, as a result of the “Declaration of Lausanne“, to promote, coordinate and monitor the fight against drugs in sports.
- Since 2002, the organization’s headquarters have been located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- WADA is responsible for the World Anti-Doping Code, adopted by more than 650 sports organizations, including international sports federations, national anti-doping organizations, the IOC, and the International Paralympic Committee.
- As of 2021, its president is Witold Banka.
- Initially funded by the IOC, WADA receives half of its budgetary requirements from them, with the other half coming from various national governments.
- Its governing bodies are also composed in equal parts by representatives from the sporting movement (including athletes) and governments of the world.
The highest decision-making authority is the 38-member foundation board, which is composed equally of IOC representatives and representatives of national governments.