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U.S. Olympic Athlete Expelled For Consuming Marijuana

Nicholas Delpopolo, a U.S. Olympic athlete in Judoka, was expelled from the games and stripped of his 7th place finish after testing positive for marijuana. From the Huffington Post:

The 23-year-old judoka from Westfield, N.J., said his positive test was “caused by my inadvertent consumption of food that I did not realize had been baked with marijuana” before he left for the Olympics.

“I apologize to U.S. Olympic Committee, to my teammates, and to my fans, and I am embarrassed by this mistake,” he said in a statement released by the USOC. “I look forward to representing my country in the future, and will rededicate myself to being the best judo athlete that I can be.”

USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement his group is “absolutely committed to clean competition and stringent anti-doping penalties. Any positive test, for any banned substance, comes with the appropriate consequences and we absolutely support the disqualification.”

If anything, one would expect heavy marijuana usage to impair Olympic performance, so this isn’t really akin to taking steroids. As for health risks, even if one accepts the notion that some international gaming committee should serve as the world health police, marijuana isn’t as addictive or deadly as cigarettes or alcohol, the consumption of which does not result in expulsion from the Olympics. Why then marijuana? Is it simply because marijuana ended up on a list of politically disfavored substances?

In any case, this is certainly an unfortunate and disappointing end for an Olympic athlete.

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