US National Team Member Tate Jackson Receives 1 Month Suspension From USADA

US National Team swimmer Tate Jackson has been given a 1-month suspension by the United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) after testing positive for THC, a metabolite of the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

Jackson tested positive during a doping sample collection on March 4 while competing at the Pro Swim Series meet in San Antonio. His suspension is dated to March 25, 2021, the date of his provisional suspension, meaning that the suspension has already expired.

The short suspension is one of the first big tests of the new World Anti-Doping Code policy on “substances of abuse,” so claimed because they are frequently used outside of the context of sport.

If an athlete who tests positive for a Substance of Abuse establishes that their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance, the athlete will receive a three-month sanction. If the athlete satisfactorily completes a Substance of Abuse treatment program approved by USADA, the sanction may be further reduced to one month.

USADA cited multiple factors for the reduced suspension. Jackson’s suspension was reduced because his use of cannabis was outside of competition (even though the test happened in competition), it was “unrealted to sport performance,” because they found a “low degree of fault,” and because he completed a counseling program regarding his use of cannabis.

Cannabinoids, the class of substances that includes THC, is only banned in competition under World Anti-Doping Code rules, but can be detected in urine for up to 30 days.

The one-month suspension, plus a stripping of all results since March 4, is a very light sentence. The punishment includes his 4th-place finish in the 100 free at that Pro Swim Series meet (though no points or money was awarded during this year’s series).

Because of the “zero tolerance” policies put in place by the International Swimming League, Jackson is disqualified from participating in that league forever. While the ISL has declined to further parse its policy, thus far, the delimiting factor seems to be whether an outside anti-doping authority gives an athlete a suspension of any length of time. Athletes who have received only warnings, like Etiene Medeiros and Grigory Tarasevich, have been allowed to compete.

Jackson represented the Cali Condors during the 2020 International Swimming League season, where he raced in all 4 regular season matches primarily as a relay specialist and scored 26 MVP points, which tied him for 204th in the league. In the league finale, he swam in both the men’s and mixed 400 free relays as Cali took home the Season 2 title.

A former Texas Longhorn, Jackson currently represents the affiliated Longhorn Aquatics. The 24-year old won 2 gold and 1 silver medal at the 2019 World University Games. The gold medals were both earned on relays, while the silver was an individual win in the 100 free behind only fellow American Zach Apple.

Jackson’s 47.88 in the 100 free from the 2019 US Summer National Championships ranks him as the 6th-fastest American during the Olympic Trials qualifying period and gives him some chance of making the U.S. Olympic Team – the top 6 in the 100 free are usually selected for relay purposes.

Fastest Americans, Men’s 100 LCM Free, Olympic Trials Qualifying Period:

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 46.96 (2019 Worlds)
  2. Ryan Held – 47.39 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  3. Maxime Rooney – 47.61 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  4. Zach Apple – 47.69 (2019 US Open)
  5. Blake Pieroni – 47.87 (2019 Worlds)
  6. Tate Jackson – 47.88 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  7. Dean Farris – 48.07 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  8. Robert Howard – 48.37 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  9. Jack Conger – 48.47 (2019 Summer Nationals)
  10. Daniel Krueger – 48.55 (2019 Summer Nationals)

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Reeeek! wHy caN’t ppl do dRuGs aNyMoRe & bE hIggH. StoOpId boOmeRs.

1 year ago

Shame on him for doing a marijuana!

1 year ago

Those 2019 nationals were surprisingly fast! What pool it was held on, anything special about it?

Ondulation Fabio
1 year ago

If the ISL were to ban anyone who’s ever touched some of that green stuff, there wouldn’t be many swimmers left to compete lol.

I guess it all comes down to playing the cat and mouse game with doping control people …

1 year ago

Marijuana in Austin….. you don’t say

1 year ago

It’s about time sports show a sense of activism and educate themselves about the Righteous Bush and bring change once and for all! Everybody is affected by marijuana differently but for me it enhances everything I am feeling so if I am going to do something that will make me nervous and smoke, I’m going to be very nervous. But if I’m going to do something with confidence then smoke I will feel my confidence level skyrocket. It’s white magic and black magic it’s not good or bad it’s whatever you make it. Also therapeutic for elite athletes to help them recover and in my opinion way better option than pain killers, ibuprofen, and other supplements/medications.

Such a shame a… Read more »

1 year ago

Let the athlete’s blaze the pure cheebs during their off hour, or sample the transcendent fungi/cacti of their choice. Natural bounty is natty.

1 year ago


Last edited 1 year ago by Dylan

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »