(Ottawa, Ontario – May 16, 2018) – As we get closer to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) reminds athletes that cannabis will remain prohibited in sport, no matter its legal status in Canada.

Cannabinoids, including cannabis, hashish and marijuana, are classified as prohibited in competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s 2018 Prohibited List, an international standard that is not affected by changes in Canadian law. Cannabis will be just one of many substances that are legal in Canada, yet prohibited in sport.

“When cannabis becomes legal in Canada athletes will have to remember that they are subject to the rules of the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and face the consequences of a doping violation if they test positive for cannabis in competition,” says Paul Melia, CCES President and CEO. “There are steps that athletes can take to reduce the risk of a doping violation, but the most effective approach is to avoid cannabis.”

The CCES offers several resources to help athletes and support personnel navigate cannabis legalization. The Cannabis in Sport Education Kit is available for coaches, administrators, teachers, and others to download. The kit contains materials to help leaders deliver the message about cannabis in sport to athletes and support personnel. To download the kit and access a quiz, FAQ, resources, and more, visit www.cces.ca/cannabis.

As always, the CCES reminds athletes of the fundamental anti-doping principle of strict liability: The athlete is responsible for any substance found in their sample. Athletes who have a prescription for medical marijuana should apply for a medical exemption

About the CCES

The CCES is an independent, national, not-for profit organization with a responsibility to administer the Canadian Anti-Doping Program. We recognize that true sport can make a great difference for individuals, communities and our country. The CCES acknowledges funding, in part, from the Government of Canada. We are committed to working collaboratively to activate a values-based and principle-driven sport system; protecting the integrity of sport from the negative forces of doping and other unethical threats; and advocating for sport that is fair, safe and open to everyone.


For further information, please contact:

+1 613-521-3340 x3233
[email protected]