Canadian athletes are in a unique position in that cannabis, a substance which is banned during international competition is about to be legal across the country.
Looking to address the potential issue, a Canadian sports committee has been formed to educate athletes.
Glen Bergeron teaches kinesiology and applied health at the University of Winnipeg. Bergeron is part of the committee which is being led by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). The topic of athletes and legal cannabis is being discussed on a national level in Canada.
“We are very early in our discussions and not prepared to give any advice on how much they can have in their system, or information on latency at this time,” said Bergeron in an interview with Marijuana.com. “The committee is still in the early stages of developing an information package for our amateur athletes.”
In a previous interview, Bergeron said “the issue is that cannabis is a banned substance on the international banned substance list. We need to be able to educate these athletes that it may be legal to use, but it’s still regarded as a banned substance.”
The committee has been working on developing an educational process to help athletes understand issues such as allowable THC limits.
Bergeron pointed out that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) increased the amount of cannabis an athlete can have in their system by 10 times. Athletes are now permitted to have up to 150 ng/ml of THC in their blood.
Canada continues to lobby the WADA to remove cannabis from the banned substance list, but for the moment, Canadian athletes need to be made aware of the risk. The committee expects to have some guidelines drafted for consultation by September.