The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has announced a review of the status of cannabis on its banned substances list following the positive test that resulted in US sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson’s Olympic suspension.

After a meeting of WADA’S executive committee in Istanbul, the anti-doping watchdog said a scientific review of cannabis will be conducted next year, but it will remain banned during that time. 

Sha’Carri Richardson

WADA said in a statement: “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.” 

US sprint star Richardson was tipped to win gold in the 100 metres at the Tokyo Games last month, but the 21-year-old was handed a 30-day suspension for a positive cannabis test after her victory at the US Olympic trials in June.

Celebrities and fellow athletes criticised the move, with even the White House calling on sporting bodies and anti-doping authorities to reconsider the rules around cannabis use.

World Athletics chief Sebastian Coe has backed calls for reform and said during the Olympics: “It’s not an unreasonable moment to have a review. It’s sensible — nothing is set in stone. You adapt and occasionally reassess.”

Hannah Adler

Hannah is a communications professional and early-career researcher in the disciplines of health communication and health sociology. She is a PhD student at Griffith University currently writing a...