Drugs in sport: Marijuana users 'will keep medals'

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The Independent Online
ATHLETES competing at this year's Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur will not be stripped of their medals if they test positive for marijuana.

"We are not interested in marijuana because it isn't a restricted drug in any Commonwealth sports, so we don't take any notice of it," said Dr Geoffrey Haigh, the medical advisor for the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Marijuana testing and the city's pollution problems were two of the topics discussed at a Commonwealth Games Federation meeting held last week in Kuala Lumpur.

The drug became an issue at this year's Winter Olympics when traces were found in urine samples given by the Canadian snowboarder, Ross Rebagliati. The IOC's decision was later overturned and the medal reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled there was no provision for marijuana testing at the Olympics.

Embarrassed by the fiasco, the IOC's executive board agreed in April to draft new provisions in the Olympic Charter and the IOC medical code. IOC officials said marijuana would be added to the banned list and any athletes testing positive for the drug would be disqualified. Haigh said the Commonweath Games Federation would follow the new rules when they came into force.