The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) executive committee announced on Tuesday that it will review the status of cannabis as a banned substance. This comes after United States track star Sha'Carri Richardson was disqualified from the Tokyo Olympics as a result of testing positive for marijuana use -- which she admitted using following the death of her mother.
In a statement, WADA stated that the agency received many requests from "a number of stakeholders" asking to look further into the status of cannabis as a banned substance. This review will take place in 2022 and be conducted by the Prohibited List Expert Advisory Group within WADA.
Until then, cannabis will still be banned in competition. The earliest that will change will be in 2022 after the review is over.
In 2011, the WADA published a paper that stated that marijuana is banned because cannabis "could potentially endanger" athletes "and others because of increased risk taking, slower reaction times and poor executive function or decision making." WADA also believes that cannabis can be "performance enhancing" for athletes.
However, a 2018 study that was published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine determined that there "is no direct evidence of performance-enhancing effects in athletes."
Richardson used marijuana in Oregon, a state where the substance is legal, after learning about the death of her biological mother. That was just weeks before the start of the Tokyo Olympics.