This former Canadian Olympian wants cannabis taken off the Games’ banned substances list | CBC Radio

The ban on Olympic athletes the utilization of hashish is outdated and wishes to change, says retired Canadian Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien.

Perdita Felicien is pictured competing in the girls folks’s 100-metre hurdles heats at some stage in the 2011 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea. (Ian Walton/Getty Photography)

The ban on Olympic athletes the utilization of hashish is outdated and wishes to change, says retired Canadian Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stated Friday that American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson has popular a 30-day suspension after trying out fantastic for THC, the psychoactive chemical blow their own horns in marijuana. This ability that, her Olympic trials results own been erased, and she would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also honest now not be allowed to compete in her signature 100-metre go at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson advised NBC’s On the novel time that she accepts beefy accountability, and that she smoked marijuana as a ability of coping along with her mother’s recent demise.

Her suspension is a big blow for the gold-medal hopeful, and has reignited a debate over whether hashish — which reports widely blow their own horns is now not a efficiency-enhancing drug — would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also honest aloof even be on the agency’s list of banned substances. 

Felicien is one of loads of athletes, sports journalists and followers who own voiced their motivate for Richardson.

LISTEN | Felicien on marijuana in sports:

7: 27 Perdita Felicien on Sha’Carri Richardson’s 30-day suspension

The athlete-turned-sports broadcaster spoke to As It Occurs customer host Nil Köksal. Here is section of their conversation.

What went thru your tips if you happen to heard the records about Sha’Carri Richardson?

I believed it wasn’t proper. I became as soon as nervous and nervous. I kept scrolling thru Twitter to uncover if this became as soon as actually happening. Her star became as soon as rising. It became as soon as high. And then all in an instant it appropriate dropped so all in an instant.

She spoke to NBC this morning and she says she primitive marijuana as a ability of coping after she learned in regards to the unexpected demise of her biological mother … What attain you take a long way from that?

She stumbled on out that her mother died as she became as soon as being interviewed. A reporter advised her … in declare that’s devastating. 

The truth of the matter is she broke a rule. She knew better. And it is a extremely devastating, self-inflicted wound. She’s 21 years traditional. She’s so young and inexperienced in the game, and I insist she made a extremely unfortunate selection.

My stance is weed mustn’t be on the banned list. It be now not a efficiency enhancer. If the leisure, it is appropriate, , something WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, appropriate feels is unhealthy for the image of its athletes. And it has been on the list for years. And I invent now not insist it belongs there. It be costing too powerful.

Sha’Carri Richardson runs and celebrates in the Ladies folks’s 100-metre semifinal at some stage in the U.S. Olympic Video display & Discipline Group Trials on June 19. Those results own since been erased after Richardson tested fantastic for THC. (Patrick Smith/Getty Photography)

Hayes Brown with MSNBC wrote an notion fragment and wrote, “Richardson is largely the most up-to-date Encourage American whose future became as soon as set at distress on account of arcane and racist drug policies.” What attain you are making of how he feels about this?

If we judge even our win country, weed is now upright. Nonetheless sight at the fight it took to accumulate it to be upright. And if you suspect in regards to the stigma spherical capsules, there’s the stigma of criminal activity and detrimental stereotypes and photos. And so if you suspect in regards to the parents that made up this rule, successfully, who are they? What does it sight like? Why are they saying weed is unhealthy and weed is a grisly component for athletes?

The rule does must substitute on account of instances own modified. We know so powerful extra about marijuana and its use. And I insist it no doubt is extra of an portray component: “Properly, , a factual, fantastic, wholesome athlete would now beneath no circumstances use marijuana.”

Of us like [former Olympic snowboarder] Ross Rebagliati own argued marijuana is a efficiency-enhancing drug — now not in the veteran sense, as folks would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also insist, but that it’ll support athletes by their mental game and to address dismay spherical competition. Attain you suspect there’s any merit to that?

If that is the argument, now we wish to ban sports psychologists. They permit you to with your efficiency. Let’s ban espresso, too. Oh, that makes you accumulate of difficult and perk up. Oh, what? While we’re at it, let’s ban alcohol. How about that, factual?

It doesn’t make sense. Al Vernec is the scientific director for WADA. He primitive to be the head scientific officer for Athletics Canada, a federation that I do know successfully. He has come out to relate, besides to a pair other experts, that hashish, weed, doesn’t give athletes a efficiency-enhancing edge. If that is the case, if WADA’s win person is saying this, then it needs to be off the list. 

Felicien, now retired from sports, is calling on the Olympics to rescind its marijuana ban. (Martin Brown)

Attain you suspect we’ll thought a substitute in the tips, given how powerful consideration is on Ms. Richardson’s undertaking?

Marijuana is on the list on account of some 200 international locations and 70-plus sport governing bodies own made the consensus that it … belongs there. Except these extremely fine companies and organizations petition strongly to own it removed, it would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also honest now not go anywhere.

[The U.S.] is largely the most extremely fine [of those 200 countries,] I would insist. Nonetheless the undertaking is, although our sentiments in North The USA own modified spherical marijuana and its use, in other international locations it is aloof very illegal. It be aloof very taboo. So I invent now not know if the U.S. by itself, with all its would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also, can substitute the needle on this. Nonetheless I insist it will take a lot extra international locations and governing bodies being with the U.S. to make a substitute.

WADA could be very slack to undertake substitute, and so even in the event that they had been feeling indecent pressures to own this a long way from the list, I indicate, we’re now not going to thought this removed, I would insist, in the subsequent five years, if 10. It be now not going anywhere.

Attain you suspect we would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also aloof thought her on the U.S. Olympic relay crew?

That’s a flowery loophole that they’re facing factual now. From the chums and insiders that I’ve talked to, it appears to be like just like the USATF [USA Track & Field], the governing physique for track and topic in the States, is at the assist of her, which is enormous. It also appears to be like to be like as if they’re exploring a ability to accumulate her to go the relays on account of that’s at the kill of the Olympics and, obviously, her 30-day suspension will most definitely be over.

Nonetheless I insist what they wish to contend with is, successfully, what are we saying about if anyone breaks the guideline, we’re aloof striking her on the crew? I insist it is a PR component that they wish to weigh at this level.

So to answer to this, I insist there is a stable sense we would possibly perhaps presumably per chance also aloof thought her. If the final public notion is in her favour, which it appears to be like to be in every thing that I’ve considered, there is a possibility we’ll thought her at the relays in Tokyo.


Written by Sheena Goodyear with files from The Linked Press. Interview produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes. Q&A has been edited for dimension and clarity. 


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