The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have finally come to an end, however, this event made history and will be hard to forget. Not only were they postponed last year due to the emergency state caused by the pandemic, but they are also the first Olympic games that did not allow the entry of spectators to the venues during the development of the competition, furthermore, it is the first Olympic event where the use of CBD (non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant) is allowed for athletes.
In 2004, cannabis was banned for all sports competitions by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). In 2017, after several debates, legal and scientific advances, CBD was removed from the list of banned substances. However, due to the date this measure took effect, the athletes that attended the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics were not allowed to use CBD. Therefore, the competitors that attended the Tokyo Olympics are the first ones allowed to use CBD in an event of this nature under the new regulation.
It should be noted that even though athletes could use CBD during their training, it was not possible to take the cannabis derived products to the Olympics due to the different regulations when travelling to a foreign country with this type of substance, also taking into account as well the strict cannabis laws of Japan. The use of THC remains prohibited, which was evident when American runner, Sha’Carri Richardson, was suspended after testing positive for cannabis.
Athletes supporting the use of cannabis
As a consequence of the regulation, athletes kept their cannabis use private for years, fearing the sanctions in different sports disciplines. Nevertheless, in the last years great sports figures like former boxer Mike Tyson, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, basketball player Sue Bird and many more have made public their cannabis consumption, and some of them have even supported its medical use during or after training.
At the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, some competitors also spoke publicly about the use of CBD during their training, such as Megan Rapinoe (Women’s Football), Devon Allen (Men’s 110m hurdles), and Haylie McCleney (Women’s Softball), which are also ambassadors of Mendi, a CBD Brand focused on athletes, specially their training and performance.