Suspension of Olympic Hopeful Sha'Carri Richardson Condemned by Athletes, Highlights Archaic Cannabis Rules

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 3, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Athletes for CARE ("A4C"), a not-for-profit organization that advocates for the removal of stigma and punitive actions against the use of cannabis in sport, announces its unequivocal support for Sha'Carri Richardson in wake of her recent suspension from competition, and again calls on WADA and USADA to remove antiquated punitive actions against athletes who use cannabis.

Sha'Carri's month-long suspension for cannabis use immediately crushes her ability to compete in the 100m race at the Tokyo Olympics, in which she was expected to medal. The timing of the suspension keeps open the possibility that she will compete in the 4x100m relay, but relies on being chosen by USA Track and Field as one of two alternative runners.

Joanna Zeiger, Olympian, former triathlon world champion, and A4C Athlete Ambassador, comments, "THC is a tricky compound for two reasons. First, from an anti-doping perspective, THC is considered a threshold drug that can only be used out of competition; THC can be found in the blood up to a certain level before triggering a positive result. It is unknown how much THC needs to be consumed to reach this threshold and this amount is likely variable between individuals. This makes dosing incredibly difficult, particularly for athletes who are using cannabis to treat medical conditions." She continues, "a study on self-identified community based athletes found that 70% of current cannabis users slept better, 54% had decreased anxiety, and 58% stated that cannabis calmed them down," especially pertinent given Sha'Carri's mental state during the qualifiers in Oregon.

Anna Symonds, A4C Athlete Ambassador and long-time cannabis advocate, remarked, "It's an unfair and nonsense rule that has led to this injustice. USADA's and WADA's ban on THC during 'in-competition' windows is based on outdated and totally unscientific political biases, not real medical data. If these rules were truly a concern about "athlete health," then alcohol (a much more harmful substance) would also be banned in-competition – but it's not." She continues, "It is heart wrenching to see this electric young star be stripped of this singular opportunity. Cannabis doesn't meet WADA's own criteria for a banned substance, and it simply shouldn't be banned or tested for at all."

Marvin Washington, A4C Co-founder and former NFL athlete, states that "WADA allows CBD but not THC - same plant - and neither are a performance enhancing substance. Let her run."

Elias Theodorou, A4C Athlete Ambassador and UFC veteran, explains, "My journey to receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption ("TUE") for medical cannabis in North America was the hardest fight of my life. Athletes shouldn't need to jump through hoops to consume a non-performance-enhancing plant that is legal in many jurisdictions." Theodorou was recently the first professional athlete to receive a TUE to compete in the state of Colorado.

A4C welcomes athletes to join in advocacy at Athletes for CARE, and for everyone to sign the petition to WADA.

About Athletes for CARE (A4C)

Athletes for CARE (A4C) is a not-for-profit organization launched in 2017 by passionate retired professional athletes who recognized the need to advocate for the health, safety and wellness of more than 2 billion people of all ages who compete annually in sanctioned sports globally. Through that advocacy, we are improving health and wellness options for the billions of people around the world living with mental and physical illnesses including chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, CTE, TBI, substance abuse and opioid dependency. For more information, please visit

For Further Information, Or media requests:
Jess Moran
Volunteer Marketing Director, A4C
Principal & Founder, JESSCO

Media Contact

A4C, Athletes for CARE, 5194945379,

SOURCE Athletes for CARE

Posted In: Press Releases