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Olympics FYI: Why Is Cannabis Considered a Performance-Enhancing Drug? | Popular Science
I spoke with WADA about the process of creating and maintaining their list. Here's the basic rule, a version of which appears in their official code:
[F]or a substance to be considered for inclusion on the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, it needs to meet any two of the following three criteria:
Be performance enhancing;
Potentially a health risk;
Against the spirit of sport.
Elsewhere in the code (page 14, if you're reading along), the spirit of sport is defined--it’s both as inspiring as you might hope and as inexact as you might worry. It says the spirit of sport is characterized by values like "character and education," "fun and joy," and "courage." The idea that a drug's legality, and an athlete’s medal, might come down to something so subjective is troubling. And there is, unfortunately, no document explaining which banned drugs specifically violate the first and second criteria, which violate the first and third, and which violate the second and third. And the list is an ever-evolving entity.
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