COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – U.S. Olympic long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall, who finished sixth at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, has had her national indoor title stripped and served a one-month suspension after testing positive for the psychoactive compound found in marijuana earlier this year. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced the penalties on Tuesday, adding that the sample was collected on Feb. 17.
Davis-Woodhall’s ban concluded last week, but the penalty also includes the loss of the long jump title she won at USATF Indoor National Championships, shortly before the sample was collected. The former Texas star leaped 6.99 meters which was a personal best performance at the time to win the U.S. title in Albuquerque in February.
According to an Associated Press report, the psychoactive compound found in marijuana, known as THC, is classified as a special category of banned substance. It allows for a three-month sanction if an athlete can establish that their use of the substance occurred out of competition and was unrelated to sport performance.
USADA said the sanction can be further reduced to one month if the athlete completes an approved treatment program.
However, there has been much debate about whether marijuana should be on the banned list. This came to the fore after 100-meter winner Sha’Carri Richardson had her title stripped and was banned from the Olympics due to a positive test at the U.S. Olympic trials in 2021.
World regulators have been continuously updating the banned list and have increased the THC threshold for positive tests to fall more in line with pro sports leagues across the globe.
Nonetheless, the World Anti-Doping Agency still classifies THC as a “substance of abuse” because it is frequently used outside the context of sport.
The issue of marijuana use in sports has been a topic of contention in recent times. In the United States, many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use.
However, it is still illegal under federal law?
Information from the AP was used in this article