How Many Elite Athletes Use Cannabis?

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Former NBA superstar Kenyon Martin recently estimated that around 85 percent of all players in the world’s top basketball league used cannabis during his time as a pro, while retired NFL ace Martellus Bennett says the number is probably even higher in professional American Football – a sport known for its hard knocks. Yet, as the exclusion of sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson from this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo highlights, elite athletes are still penalised for using cannabis. The leading anti-doping authorities continue to erroneously classify it as a performance-enhancing drug of abuse. Despite this, there is a clear trend towards increased cannabis use among elite athletes, which is why several sports have taken measures to reduce the penalties for smoking weed. Related Post Is Cannabis A Performance-Enhancing Drug Why Do Athletes Use Cannabis? Being a professional sportsperson places a huge strain on both the body and mind, so it’s hardly surprising that many athletes use cannabis to deal with physical pain, treat inflammation or simply cope with stress. American football players in the NFL, for instance, have been campaigning for several years for the league to permit the use of cannabis as an alternative to opioids and anti-inflammatory drugs like Toradol, which have been routinely administered by team doctors for decades even though they are addictive and can cause irreparable internal damage. Since Eugene Monroe of the Baltimore Ravens first challenged the NFL to change its stance on cannabis in 2016, a large number of players have come out in support of the idea, resulting in the league finally modifying its rules in 2020. Under the new policy, athletes who test positive for cannabis will no longer be suspended, although punishments will still be handed out to those who use weed excessively. A similar change was introduced in Major League…

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