Removal of cannabis testing notable for TRU WolfPack, U Sports athletes

Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport noted in a press release on Aug. 24 it has changed its application of anti-doping rules, removing cannabis from in-competition analysis of U Sports and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association student-athlete samples

TRU WolfPack student-athletes can consume cannabis without fear of punishment from the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, which is responsible for administering the Canadian Anti-Doping Program.

The CCES noted in a press release on Aug. 24 it has changed its application of anti-doping rules, removing cannabis from in-competition analysis of U Sports and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association student-athlete samples.

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“The CCES has long advocated for the removal of cannabis from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Prohibited List and the legalization of cannabis in Canada reflects a shifting societal view of how to manage cannabis education and harm reduction,” notes the press release.

For student-athletes competing only in U SPORTS or CCAA events, a sample will not be analyzed for cannabis and therefore a doping control test will not result in an adverse analytical finding for its presence.

But cannabis remains prohibited in competition under the WADA Prohibited List.

Student-athletes included in their sport’s national athlete pool, competing in events outside of the U Sports and CCAA umbrellas and in international events outside the CCES’s jurisdiction can still be analyzed for the full menu of prohibited substances, including cannabis.

“Historically, cannabis cases in U SPORTS and CCAA have been unrelated to performance enhancement – rather, they are inadvertent violations caused by the fact that cannabis is only prohibited in-competition and can take 30 days to clear from a human body,” the press release said.

TRU prohibits the non-medicinal use of cannabis on campus.

“My message to student-athletes is it is still on the banned substance list, the WADA list, but if you’re only participating in a U Sports context, it won’t be tested for, but it is still considered a banned substance,” TRU athletics and recreation director Curtis Atkinson told KTW.

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