Sha'Carri Richardson's Suspension Sparks Change: Nevada Sports Regulators Remove Cannabis Ban For Fighter – Benzinga

Sha’Carri Richardson’s recent cannabis controversy seems to have encouraged the Nevada Athletic Commission to unanimously decide to change its anti-doping policy on Wednesday and to no longer suspend athletes for marijuana possession or usereported The Nevada Independent

“I think being the gold standard with regard to combat sports — both MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) and boxing — being a world-class destination, and having our state show the leadership and the fortitude in light of some of the recent circumstances we’ve all seen on television, we should be always at the forefront of these issues,” said Nevada Athletic Commission chairman Stephen Cloobeck at a meeting in Las Vegas.

Starting Wednesday, athletes in Nevada will no longer fear automatic disqualification from their sport for smoking pot. 

More specifically, drug tests that reveal in excess of 150 nanograms of cannabis metabolites per milliliter will not disqualify a fighter, reports the outlet. 

Still, athletes who show unmistakable signs of intoxication would be banned from the competition

Six-Month Trial Period 

The athletic commission, which is in charge of boxing and similar unarmed combat, will continue drug testing for the next six months though it will keep the information confidential for what it has called a trial period. After the trial is over, the board plans to revise the amendment and decide whether the changes will be kept. 

“Additional information can only help us,” said athletic commissioner Dallas Haun. “At the end of the day, it’s for the safety of the fighters.”

Bob Bennett, the commission’s executive director, noted that the World Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed that cannabis does not seem to provide benefits to athletes in competition

“Marijuana is considered to be a substance of abuse and not a performance-enhancing drug,” Bennet said. “I think our goal is to test performance-enhancing drugs in an effort to ensure there’s a level playing field.”

Photo: Courtesy of Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

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