The former Canadian Olympian wants to remove marijuana from the Olympic banned substances list


Canadian retired Olympic hurdler Perdita Felicien said that the ban on the use of marijuana by Olympic athletes is outdated and needs to be changed.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said on Friday That american sprinter Shakari Richardson accepts a 30-day ban After testing positive for THC, a psychoactive chemical substance found in marijuana. As a result, her Olympic trials results were erased, and she will not be allowed to participate in her iconic 100-meter sprint at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Richardson told NBC Nowadays She takes full responsibility, and she smoked marijuana in response to her mother’s recent death.

Her suspension was a huge blow to the prospective gold medalist and reignited a debate about whether marijuana should be included in the agency’s list of prohibited substances-research widely shows that marijuana is not a performance enhancing drug .

Felicien is one of several athletes, sports journalists and fans. Expressed their support for Richardson.

Listen | Felician’s marijuana in sports:

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

The sports broadcaster, who is an athlete, was interviewed When it happens Guest host Nil Köksal. This is part of their conversation.

When you heard the news about Sha’Carri Richardson, what did you think of?

I thought it was not true. I was shocked and shocked. I have been scrolling on Twitter to see if this is actually happening. Her stars are rising. It is very high. Then suddenly it fell off so suddenly.

She was interviewed by NBC this morning She said that after learning of the accidental death of her biological mother, she used marijuana as a coping method…what did you get from it?

In an interview, she discovered that her mother had died. A reporter told her…this is devastating.

The truth of the matter is that she violated the rules. She knows better. This is a very destructive, self-inflicted wound. She is 21 years old. She is too young and inexperienced in this sport, I think she made a very bad choice.

My position is that weeds should not be on the ban list. It is not a performance enhancer. If there is, it’s just that, you know, the World Anti-Doping Agency WADA just feels bad for the image of its athletes. It has been on the list for many years. I don’t think it belongs there. The cost is too high.

On June 19, during the US Olympic track and field team trials, Sha’Carri Richardson participated in the women’s 100m semifinals and celebrated. After Richardson tested positive for THC, these results have been erased. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Hayes Brown and MSNBC Wrote a review article And wrote: “Richardson is the newest descendant of Americans, his future is threatened by the mysterious and racist drug policy.” What do you think of his views on this matter?

If we think about our own country, marijuana is now legal. But look at its struggle to make it legal. If you think about the stigma of drugs, there will be criminal stigma and negative stereotypes and images. So, if you think about the people who made this rule, who are they? What does it look like? Why do they say that weeds are bad, and weeds are a terrible thing for athletes?

The rules really need to change, because the times have changed. We know more about cannabis and its uses. I think this is more like an image: “Well, you know, a good, active, healthy athlete will never use marijuana.”

People like [former Olympic snowboarder] Ross Rebagliati argues Cannabis is a performance-enhancing drug—not in the traditional sense, as one might think, but it can help athletes’ mental games and coping with anxiety during competitions. Do you think there are any advantages to doing this?

If this is an argument, we must ban sports psychologists. They will help you improve your performance. Let us also ban coffee. Oh, this makes you a little sharp and cheer up. Oh, did you know? In the meantime, let us abstain from alcohol. How is it, right?

It doesn’t make sense. Al Vernec is the medical director of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He used to be the Chief Medical Officer of the Canadian Athletic Association, a federation I know well. He has come out to say, and some other experts, Marijuana, weed, don’t give The advantage of athletes to improve performance. If this is the case, if WADA’s own people are talking about it, then it needs to be removed from the list.

Felicien, who has now retired from sports, called on the Olympics to lift its marijuana ban. (Martin Brown)

Considering how much attention Ms. Richardson’s situation has received, do you think we will see a change in the rules?

Cannabis is on the list because about 200 countries and more than 70 sports regulatory agencies have reached a consensus that it… belongs there. Unless those powerful institutions and organizations strongly demand that it be deleted, it will not go anywhere.

[The U.S.] Is the most powerful [of those 200 countries,] I would say. The problem is that although our perceptions of marijuana and its use have changed in North America, marijuana is still very illegal in other countries. Still very taboo. So I don’t know if the United States can go all out to change this. But I think more countries and regulatory agencies need to cooperate with the United States to make changes.

WADA’s adoption of change is very slow, so even if they feel the huge pressure to remove it from the list, I mean, we won’t see it be removed, I would say that in the next five years, if it is 10. Won’t go anywhere.

Do you think we can still see her in the US Olympic relay team?

This is a complex loophole they are facing now. From the friends and insiders I have met, it seems to be USATF [USA Track & Field]The governing body of American track and field, behind her, is great. It sounds like they are also exploring ways to let her participate in the relay race, because that is the end of the Olympics, and of course, her 30-day ban will end.

But what I think they have to deal with is, if someone breaks the rules, what are we talking about and we still put her on the team? I think this is a public relations issue that they must weigh on this point.

So in order to answer this question, I think there is a strong feeling that we might still see her. If public opinion is in her favor, and everything I see seems to be so, then we might see her in the relay race in Tokyo.


Written by Sheena Goodyear, document from The Associated Press. The interview was produced by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes. The Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.


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