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SBD Global/July 29, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Drug Free Sport NZ CEO Graeme Steel Wants To Stop Testing Athletes For Marijuana Use

Parliament Members and New Zealand's anti-doping organization have made calls to stop "testing Kiwi sports stars for cannabis," according to Neil Reid of FAIRFAX NZ NEWS. About 70% of "positive tests for banned substances handled by Drug Free Sport NZ are for cannabis or synthetic cannabis." Drug Free Sport NZ CEO Graeme Steel said that "the time and money it spends testing and punishing athletes for using cannabinoids could be better used tracking performance-enhancing drugs cheats." Steel also said that the organization "doesn't have the resources to tackle the social issue of cannabis use." Labour Parliament Member Trevor Mallard, a former member of the World Anti-Doping Agency's exec committee, said, "The problem ... is that [cannabis] is on the banned list. Therefore when they [Drug Free Sport NZ] find it, they then have an obligation to move forward with the disciplinary cases." Mallard was "adamant cannabis should not be on the list of banned drugs for which Drug Free Sport NZ tested" (FAIRFAX NZ NEWS, 7/28).
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