Olympics Put Spotlight on Athletes’ Marijuana Use
Two marijuana-related incidents before and during the Olympics are putting the spotlight on athletes and illegal drug use, according to USA Today. American wrestler Stephany Lee missed the Olympics because she tested positive for marijuana, and judo fighter Nicholas Delpopolo was expelled Monday after failing a drug test he said was caused by accidentally eating food baked with marijuana.
Lee pointed out that swimmer Michael Phelps is celebrated as the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, even though he was photographed inhaling from a marijuana pipe in 2009. He apologized and received a three-month suspension from USA Swimming. He never failed a drug test, the article notes.
“It’s a double standard,” Lee told the newspaper. “If you already make a name for yourself, then what happens afterward really doesn’t matter.” She estimated that at least 50 Olympic athletes use marijuana regularly, and stop in time for testing.
“We all regulate our consumption,” she said. “It’s not like we have to do a competition and we are continuously on this; that’s not how it works. We know when the tests are going to be because they come to the biggest events. A month before this I am not going to do this anymore, just for the simple fact that you’ll have to clean your system.”
In an email to the newspaper, U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) spokesman Patrick Sandusky, said, “The USOC fully supports the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code, and we will follow up with this athlete about her comments.”