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NBA won’t test players for cannabis for third season in a row

Oct 20, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

Random testing was first suspended in the COVID-19 bubble during the 2020-2021 season

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It looks like it will be year number three for no random testing for cannabis in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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Ben Dowsett, who writes about the NBA and other topics, noted in a tweet on Oct. 18, “League sources: Continuing a theme from the Orlando bubble, NBA players once again will not be randomly tested for marijuana during the 2022-2023 season.”

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If so, the random testing reprieve will mark its third anniversary, after the tack was taken in 2020 in response to COVID-19. That’s when the NBA moved 22 teams to Orlando, Fla. to compete in a bubble.

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One year after that, the NBA reported it had agreed to not randomly test players for marijuana during the 2021-2022 season. Testing for substances like human growth hormone, performance-enhancers, cocaine and opiates, though, did continue, per The Associated Press.

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All that said, “marijuana remains on the NBA’s banned substances list, and testing will still be done for probable cause,” Dowsett tweeted this week.

In 2020, The GrowthOp reported that NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said he is open to re-examining the cannabis ban as the science improves, while then executive director of the players association, Michele Roberts, predicted there could be a permanent change to the league’s cannabis policy.

In another tweet, Dowsett noted, “Expect a permanent removal of random marijuana testing to be a topic during upcoming CBA negotiations.”

The current collective bargaining agreement took effect on July 1, 2017, and runs through the 2023-2024 NBA season, according to the National Basketball Players Association.

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The current CBA notes that if a player tests positive for marijuana, he will need to enter a drug program. It covers both testing and “the education, treatment, and counselling program for marijuana established by the medical director,” after consulting with the league and players association.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) executive committee (ExCo) has approved the 2023 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, which is updated annually. Cannabis, which is prohibited in competition only, remains on the list.

Following a review by an expert panel, as it relates to THC, ExCo endorsed the recommendation “that the status of THC on the list should remain unchanged.”

We’d love to hear from you. Get in touch with feedback and story tips at thegrowthop@postmedia.com

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