(Ottawa, Ontario – October 15, 2018) – With cannabis legalization happening in Canada on Wednesday, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) would like to remind athletes that cannabis remains banned in sport, and a positive test for cannabis may still result in a sanction after October 17, 2018.

Cannabis will remain banned in sport in Canada because the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) follows the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List, an international standard that is not affected by changes in Canadian law. Once legal, cannabis will be just one of many substances that is legal in Canada, yet prohibited in sport.

“Our fear is that athletes will assume that if cannabis is legal, then they can use it,” said Paul Melia, CCES CEO and President. “Our goal at this time is to ensure athletes know that it’s still prohibited and to prevent inadvertent anti-doping rule violations.”

The CCES has several resources to help stakeholders in making informed decisions when it comes to drugs and sport, two recently created specifically to assist with cannabis. The cannabis webpage and Cannabis in Sport Education Kit are go-to resources for cannabis in sport which include information on medical marijuana, an FAQ, a cannabis in sport quiz and much more.

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 determine their requirements 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 making sport better by 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]