PtG Article 19.10.2012

Members of international research network call on WADA to reconsider ban on certain drugs

The call comes from 19 members of the International Network of Humanistic Doping Research (INHDR) and urges the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to reconsider its ban on certain recreational drugs, such as marijuana and other cannabinoids. According to the signing members of INDHR, WADA is using precious time and means on testing drugs that are not performance enhancing.

The press release accompanying the call points out that cannabinoids are the third most frequently recorded class of substances on WADA’s prohibited list. In 2010 they amounted to 9,6 % of all identified prohibited substances in positive doping tests (according to WADA’s Laboratory Statistics Reports).

“Given these numbers, the decision to ban such substances significantly impacts sport,” the press release says.

The call furthermore argues that the fact that an athlete can be banned for using a drug with no performance-enhancing effect is “nonsensical”, and that by upholding this ban, “WADA is, in effect, using anti-doping regulations in order to police personal lifestyles and social activities which are unrelated to sporting activities.”

“We believe that it is no part of the responsibility of WADA to police the personal lifestyles of athletes; indeed, not only does WADA have no right to do so but this also diverts WADAs’ limited resources away from their core business, which is to prevent athletes from using those drugs which can unfairly enhance sporting performance,” the call states.

WADA is currently in the process of reviewing the World Anti-Doping Code, the revised version will be introduced to sports governing bodies and governments before its final approval in November 2013. The revised code will be introduced in 2015.

The INHDR was established in 2002 and is a independent network of international doping scholars working with the intention to share and encourage research on doping practices in their broadest cultural, social and political dimensions.

Read the INHDR Call to WADA

The webpage of INHDR