The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced Tuesday its plans to review the status of cannabis on the banned substance list, a move that comes in the wake of U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson being excluded from competing at the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for marijuana.
The scientific review will be conducted by an advisory group to WADA in 2022.
“Following receipt of requests from a number of stakeholders, the (executive committee) endorsed the decision of the List Expert Advisory Group to initiate in 2022 a scientific review of the status of cannabis,” a WADA statement read.
“Cannabis is currently prohibited in competition and will continue to be in 2022.”
Richardson tested positive for THC, the chemical found in cannabis and marijuana, during the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials in June, earning her a one-month suspension that wiped out her results that had initially slotted her onto the Olympic team in the women’s 100 meters.
The suspension sparked an outcry of support for Richardson and a call for a rule review on cannabis from several organizations, including the White House and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The 21-year-old had reportedly been using cannabis to cope with the death of her mother.
Prior to the Olympics in July, the White House was in pursuit of a meeting with WADA to discuss cannabis’ position as a banned substance.
While Richardson’s positive test was the most high-profile we’ve seen recently, former U.S. National Team swimmer Tate Jackson also received a one-month ban earlier this year after testing positive for THC. Despite the suspension ending in late April, Jackson ultimately did not compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June.